Is Slavery in Our Future?

By David Swanson

John Bowe’s terrific new book called “Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy” takes the reader on a journey ending in the question I’ve placed above this essay.

Bowe makes three major stops along the way. The first is in Florida, where we learn in depth about the lives of immigrant farm workers held against their will and paid little or nothing for their work. By almost anyone’s definition, this is a story read more

Congressional Progressive Caucus: Economy Going to Hell Fast

By David Swanson

Live Blogging Progressive Caucus Hearing on Economy

January 16, 2008 – I’m in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room, and it’s much fuller than it has been in the past for some recent Congressional Progressive Caucus events. That’s encouraging. But the few Congress Members who were here at the start of the event have left to go vote. Other than the Caucus Co-Chairs Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee, who offered opening remarks, I only noticed Sheila Jackson read more

J. Jill, Ann Taylor, Liz Claiborne: Made By Slaves, Backed by Congress

By David Swanson

The Spring 2006 issue of Ms. Magazine contains an article by Rebecca Clarren about some beautiful tropical islands described by disgraced House Majority Leader Tom Delay as “a perfect petri dish of capitalism.” What’s so perfect about Saipan and the other 13 Northern Mariana Islands? Primarily this: items produced there can carry the label “Made in USA” and be sold in the U.S. without tariffs or quotas, but the scandalously low U.S. minimum wage read more

A Living Wage Revolution

By David Swanson

April 22, 2006 — The first sentence of the top article in the only daily newspaper in Charlottesville, Virginia, today contains a remarkable analysis of the living wage movement: “The president of the University of Virginia on Friday acknowledged that students fighting for better pay for university workers have a valid case for change, calling the debate “revolutionary” in its shifting of the poverty burden from government to the private sector.”
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Impeach John Casteen

By David Swanson

Presidents and Prime Ministers who most deserve to be ridden out of office on a rail: George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and John Casteen.

John Who?

John Casteen is the President of the University of Virginia. For years now, he’s been sitting on over a billion dollars while paying employees poverty wages. This past weekend he had 17 students arrested and hauled off to jail for sitting in to protest this injustice and to demand a living wage for workers at the University.

Rather read more

May Day, Memo Day, Mission Accomplished Day

By David Swanson

The first of May is May Day, the real labor day, the commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre and the fight for an 8-hour day in Chicago – an American holiday celebrated everywhere except America. But the first of May is two other things as well in more recent but already fading history.

This May first will be the three-year anniversary of a flight-suited George W. Bush waddling across an aircraft carrier in San Diego harbor and declaring “Mission Accomplished” in read more

Sweat Shop Workers Tour US Colleges That Sell Their Products

By David Swanson

“It would take half our salary to buy one of the sweat shirts we produce,” Josefina Hernandez Ponce told students at the University of Virginia on Wednesday night. The classroom was packed to capacity with students in every seat and squeezed in on the floor.

A flyer passed around showed where the $39.99 paid for a UVA sweatshirt goes ($2.40 in royalties to the university, $0.20 in pay to the workers who made it).

But that familiar story wasn’t all that Hernandez read more