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US Labor Law at 80: The Enduring Relevance of Class Struggle Unionism

Immanuel Ness Portside
At the center of the liberal democratic system, workers have fiercely resisted exploitation through the development of worker-based organizations rooted in the ideal of paving the road to a classless and democratic society. All those seeking greater labor militancy must recognize that traditional unions are unable to escape the trap set in the 1930s through fidelity to the collective bargaining agreement. [An earlier version was published by CounterPunch.]

Joe Hill Documentary

Joe Hill was a Swedish-American immigrant, IWW labor organizer and author of biting labor songs, including Casey Jones -- Union Scab. He was executed by firing squad, despite a worldwide movement in his defense, after being convicted of murder in a controversial trial in Utah. This Swedish documentary is a fresh exploration of his roots and life.  
 

Pete Seeger - Casey Jones

Casey Jones -- Union Scab, was written by IWW songwriter Joe Hill in 1911 during a nationwide railroad strike. It is a parody of a then-popular song romanticizing a loyal railroad employee. 

‘Solidarity Forever’ Written 100 Years Ago, Today

Jonathan Rosenblum Labor Notes
“Solidarity Forever” echoes symbolically this Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. Dr. King’s last sermon was delivered in Memphis during the sanitation workers strike, a strike in which he acted not just as a civil rights leader but also a union leader. He even called for a general strike of black workers and students in Memphis.

Tidbits - June 6, 2013

Portside
Reader Comments: Alice Walker Open Letter to Alicia Keys; Mideast; Israel; Palestine; Turkey; Bradley Manning; Electoral Strategy; Working Class, Racism; Trade Unions; Labor Movement; North Carolina Civil Rights Today; Fluoridation; Chinese Investment in the U.S.; Announcements - Left Forum, June 7 - 9; Iraqi Workers After the War - new video; Ruby Dee Documentary - June 26; Commie Camp - new film on Camp Kinderland - additional show - June 29

A 100-Year-Old Idea That Could Transform the Labor Movement

Daniel Gross In These Times
With the traditional union model and its emphasis on bargaining by representatives exiting the stage, working people are urgently searching for a new way to challenge corporate power and win a better life for their families. One hundred years later, the road not taken—represented by Local 8—represents one model.
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