Labor at the Crossroads

December 8, 2004
Five hundred people who care about the future of the labor movement gathered at the City University of New York on December 2nd and 3rd to discuss what that future should look like.

There were some rank and file members in the crowd, but mostly it was made up of those who work for or write about labor. Perhaps the only points of universal agreement among the speakers and participants of the “Labor at the Crossroads” conference hosted by the Queens College Labor Resource read more

Media Outlets Refuse Union Advertising

Media Outlets Refuse Union Advertising
Part of the Media Blackout series on underreported labor stories
By David Swanson, ILCA Media Coordinator, http://ILCAonline.org

Major corporate media outlets often reject advertising from labor unions. This means that the same outlets that will not cover labor for free, in many cases will not even sell working people 60 seconds of the public’s airwaves for hard-earned money.

Even people well aware of the media’s failings in covering labor issues read more

Media Blacks Out Bush Attack on Labor

December 20, 2004

By David Swanson, ILCA Media Coordinator
Part of the Media Blackout series on underreported labor stories

The AFL-CIO will be 50 years old in 2005. Its leaders have sat down and met with every U.S. President during those 50 years, except one, George W. Bush.

The compassionate conservative will not talk to the representatives of organized workers. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney made this point in a speech on Labor Day of 2003, in which he called Bush’s refusal to meet “a read more

One Strategy to Create Honest Media and a Stronger Labor Movement

By David Swanson, ILCA Media Coordinator
Part of the ILCA’s Building Labor Media series

The Problems We Face

Two major problems face the United States that in combination seriously impede any large-scale attempts to better the lives of working people.

The first is the ongoing decline of the labor movement, which is shrinking our organized force of political activism. The second is the increasing failure of the corporate media to serve as a source of honest and useful information for citizens. read more

Media Whites Out Vote Fraud

By David Swanson, ILCA
Part of the Media Blackout series on underreported labor stories
A shorter version of this article, for easy reading between commercial interruptions, is available at http://ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=… [1].

January 3, 2005 — The Cleveland Federation of Labor is sending busloads of demonstrators to a rally in Columbus, Ohio, today to take part in a protest of election fraud in the 2004 presidential election.

As read more

What Election Challenge Means

Jan. 6, 2005

Thirty-three Members of the US House of Representatives, and one all-important Senator — one more than four years ago — voted not to accept Ohio’s 20 electoral votes for George Bush.

The votes were 33 to 260 and 1 to 72. The protesters lost. What does it mean?

First, it’s worth noting that more than one Senator took action. Barbara Boxer announced her intention to challenge the election on Thursday morning. By midday Senators Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Harry read more

Should Dems Pretend Social Security Is Broken?

January 19, 2005
Should Democratic leaders who want to defeat Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security go along with the pretense that there are serious problems in Social Security and focus on telling people that Bush’s proposal would make the problems worse? That’s what some people are advising Democratic leaders to do. They are also advising that the Dems should avoid proposing any plan of their own to address the “problems.” Doing so, they say, would allow read more

Jim Forman and the Liberal-Labor Syndrome

Jan. 20, 2005
“Any revolutionary movement cannot succeed if the power of that movement is not in the hands of the poor.” – James Forman

Jim Forman died last week at age 76, the same age Martin Luther King Jr. would have been this week if he had not been assassinated. These two allies and rivals in the most dramatic and effective social movement of this country’s last century still have much to teach us. And, although Forman is much less well known, he in particular may read more

Strikes: Civil Contributions or Criminal Disturbances?

Feb. 14, 2005
During the week leading up to Bush’s lavish inauguration party last month, members of the union called UNITE HERE threatened to strike during the inauguration at 14 expensive hotels in Washington, D.C. They were working without a contract, and the hotels were stonewalling. The hotels were also about to be packed with fur coats, jewelry, and cowboy boots – all of it covering wealthy well-manicured white people. The workers won a contract with an increase in pay, read more

Thirty-One States and DC Take Action on Minimum Wage

February 21, 2005

If George W. Bush finishes a second term and avoids adjusting the federal minimum wage, we will have completed an 11-year record stretch without any adjustment. The previous record of nine years was brought to us by Ronald Reagan. The current federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour is over 40 percent below the 1968 level adjusted for inflation. A fulltime worker taking no vacation or holidays and earning the federal minimum wage earns 55 percent of the federal poverty line for read more