May Day is one of the most important days to the exploited workers of the world. Michael D. Yates, director of Monthly Review Press and former Associate Editor of Monthly Review magazine, and a retired professor of economics. In his many books and articles, as well as in the following interview conducted in early April 2019 by Farooque Chowdhury, Yates reflects on the state of U.S. labor—from recent history to new initiatives within the labor movement at the grassroots level, where workers are defying and contesting “official” labor leadership.
Farooque Chowdhury: You have been closely associated with labor in the United States for more than 30 years. You have worked as a labor educator, as negotiator representing unions, as union organizer, and as labor activist. Moreover, you have covered labor widely in your articles and books. Based on these interactions and experiences, please tell us about the present state of labor in the U.S.Read More »
Labor around the world is facing a hostile situation to the extent and intensity unprecedented in labor’s history. At the same time, labor in the Global South and Global North is theoretically, organizationally and politically unarmed. In this interview conducted in April 2019 by Farooque Chowdhury, Timir Basu focuses on labor in India, a large economy in the Global South. Basu, once a revolutionary who organized among the poor peasantry, spent years in prison, during which time he focused on organizing prison labor. He has been an editor of Frontier, the radical weekly published out of Kolkata, ever since.
Farooque Chowdhury: You were actively involved with organizing the poor peasantry along revolutionary line. That was days of organizing armed struggle, years ago. Then, after getting out of prison, you actively got involved with organizing unions. You were simultaneously writing on labor and unions/labor movement in two famous weeklies—Economic and Political Weekly and Frontier. Later, over the years, as editor of Frontier, you keenly observe the labor and labor movement in India. What’s the present condition of (a) the labor, and (b) the labor movement in this south Asian country?Read More »
Lal Bahadur Shastri had given the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ (Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer). This was in recognition of their contribution for national security and food security in the country. The point that was however missed out was the issue of ‘Jai Samman’. Being a part of the working class working towards protecting national territory or providing food security to the nation, both of them were missing on ‘Samman’.Read More »
Today is May Day – a day for the labor to celebrate, a day to vow for carrying forward its political struggle for emancipation of humanity, a day to reiterate its position on the questions of capital and capital’s political power; and a day to learn from the working people’s history of struggles.
This land – Bangladesh – is rich with labor’s heroic struggles. The flaring-1969 was one of those days that carry stories of the Bangladesh labor’s dedication for building up a humane society.
Haidar Akbar Khan Rano, member of the presidium of the Communist Party of Bangladesh, in a recent interview [yet unpublished] recollected two incidents that stand as evidence of the labor’s heroic moves.Read More »