Andrew Kolin’s Political Economy of Labor Repression in the United States (Lexington Books, 2016) successfully demonstrates how labour repression is organic to capitalism; something that is central to the very constitution of the capitalist economy and its state. Traversing the history of the United States, the book is a survey of the evolving relationship between capital and labour and how repression has been (re)produced in and through that evolution – something that is structurally manifest in the institutional exclusion of labour. However, by presenting it as an expression of class struggle, the book refuses to deprive labour of its agency. It does not view labour as passive or even merely reactive. It suggests that insofar as the political economy of repression is composed through capital-labour interactions, it is contradictory and provides moments of escape or liberation from repression.
Pratyush Chandra and Pothik Ghosh talk to Andrew Kolin. Professor Kolin teaches Political Science at Hilbert College. His books include The Ethical Foundations of Hume’s Theory of Politics, One Family: Before and During the Holocaust, State Structure and Genocide and State Power and Democracy: Before and During the Presidency of G.W. Bush.Read More »
North Carolina AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan speaking at a rally, with Rev. William Barber on her right. | North Carolina AFL-CIO
ST. LOUIS—Constant attacks on the rights of working people by the current administration occupying the White House have put the labor movement on the defensive across the country. The tough fight to spread the narrative about union power, push back the threat of anti-labor policies, and protect shrinking unions can make the outlook for the labor movement seem bleak.Read More »
WASHINGTON – In a new paper, EPI Research Director Josh Bivens provides evidence that corporate tax cuts (like those included in the recent “Unified Framework” Republican tax plan) will not boost American wages, and demonstrates that claims to the contrary are based on faulty theory and evidence. Bivens looks specifically at a recent report released by the Trump administration’s Council of Economic Advisers, which claims that their proposed tax cuts for large corporations will somehow trickle down to help American workers by boosting economy-wide productivity and wage growth, giving households an income increase of at least $4,000.Read More »
A Journal of People report
A recently-released study looks into the reasons the U.S. white working-class voters strongly supported Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Three researchers from three universities authored the study “White Working-Class Views on Belonging, Change, Identity and Immigration.”
Open Society Foundations, a network of political organizations controlled by billionaire George Soros, funded the study.Read More »
Qatar’s population is 2.6 million, of whom nearly 90 per cent are migrant workers. Getty
Your name is Sumon, and you live in a small village in rural Bangladesh. One day you’re visited by a casual acquaintance you’ve known since childhood, who has an opportunity. He’s recruiting for a clerical job, he knows you’ve always been bright and ambitious, and he wants you. He’ll take care of everything: paperwork, passport, medical, transport. He’ll even act as a reference if you need a bank loan. The promised salary – $400 dollars US a month – is literally more money than you’ve seen before in your life.
Of course, you’re no mug. You’ve heard the stories. But this is an old friend. Your children go to school together. He works for the local government. He wants to help. A fresh start, financial security, a better future for your family. Besides, what’s the alternative? Stay in your village and slowly get old?Read More »
A group of migrant workers from Myanmar pleaded not guilty to charges of defamation this week by their former employer, Thammakaset poultry farm in central Thailand. The workers say they were forced to work overtime, unlawful deductions were made from their salaries, and that their passports were confiscated.
The workers first filed a complaint to Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission last year, but Thammakaset farm firmly denied any wrongdoing and launched a defamation lawsuit against the workers for allegedly damaging the company’s reputation.Read More »
Hundreds of union members and volunteers crowded into IBEW Local 1 Hall in St. Louis to hear the news that volunteers had collected more than 300,000 signatures on petitions to repeal Missouri’s phony “right-to-work” law by placing it on the Nov. 2018 ballot for voters to decide. | Labor Tribune
ST. LOUIS (PAI) — Workers and their allies capped a successful petition drive by collecting more than 300,000 notarized signatures of voters to put repeal of Missouri’s controversial so-called “right to work” law on the referendum ballot in November 2018.
The petitions, turned in to Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft weeks ahead of the mandatory late August deadline, also automatically stopped implementation of the anti-worker, anti-union law, which the GOP-dominated state legislature approved this year – despite worker, business and union lobbying – and right-wing GOP Gov. Eric Greitens eagerly signed.Read More »
by Zwelinzima Vavi
The following speech by Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of the newly formed South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), was delivered in New Orleans at the 46th International Convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists(CBTU) a few days ago.
Greetings to my brother and comrade, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Rev. Terrence L. Melvin. Revolutionary salutes to my big brother Bill William Lucy, the former President of CBTU and leading member of the AFL-CIO and AFSCME now trying to enjoy his well deserved retirement.Read More »
by Jane McAlevey
Barb Tiller is a mother of four boys, a wife, and a highly skilled operating-room nurse who has been working at Tufts Medical Center in Boston for 27 years. On July 12, for the first time in her life, she walked off the job along with 1,200 other nurses – almost all women – in the largest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts’s history, and the first in Boston for 31 years. “Nurses don’t stand up for ourselves,” says Tiller. “We stand up for our patients; we stand up for our families when we go home. We stand up for everyone else. But we can’t work under these conditions anymore – like being locked in the operating room with no water, no bathroom break, no meal break, for 12 hours at a time.”Read More »