By ALBERTO C. RUIZ - Counterpunch Weekend Edition
...[W]hether or not the [AFL_CIO's] Solidarity Center...has actually possessed the intention to overthrow the Chavista government in Venezuela, the Solidarity Center has and continues to carry out activities which objectively serve the destabilization goals of the U.S. foreign policy interests which fund those activities...All of this is truly disturbing, and indeed, reprehensible.
By Linda McQuaig - May 7, 2013
The willingness of much of the Canadian media to go along with the Conservative narrative about Stephen Harper's "moderation" has allowed the prime minister to wage a discreet class war against working people without attracting too much attention...[T]he Harperites have been adroit at keeping their anti-worker bias under the radar. Instead, they've directed their attacks against unions, portraying them as undemocratic organizations run by "union bosses" who ignore the interests of ordinary workers.
By Yves Engler - May 3rd, 2013
...[P]erhaps the epithet “union boss” is not really aimed at the presidents, secretary-treasurers or other heads of unions at all. Rather, it is an insult aimed at all workers, who these right-wing minions think are too stupid to participate in the democratic process of choosing a leader...These yes men of the super rich cannot conceive of workers running their own organizations. When you make your living as a toady you have a hard time imagining anyone else thinking for him or herself.
By Ingo Schmidt - May 1, 2013
Austerity is the only policy game in town at this point in the core capitalist countries. But it has growing doubters amongst ruling elites and is deeply resented by the working classes. In the zones of severe crisis, the free market ideology is losing even more credibility...An upsurge in right-wing populism in many countries...is one of the expressions of the deep crisis of legitimacy that is befalling neoliberal capitalism in the midst of continuing economic crisis and another sharpening of economic inequalities.
By Andre Damon - 20 April 2013
Despite the hazardous nature of the material stored in the plant and its proximity to homes and public facilities, it appears that enforcement of health and safety regulations was abysmally lax. In this, West [Texas] Fertilizer is not an exception, but rather the rule after decades of deregulation and the gutting of government oversight of private companies — a process that has been accelerated under the Obama administration.
By Paul Kahnert - March 11, 2013
Creating legislation that takes away human rights in the workplace, and claiming that it is giving you rights, is deliberately dishonest. What it's really about is greed and low wages...The top 1% love their money. They also love the processes that make them even more money...The only way to get low wages and dramatically increase profits for the wealthy is to get rid of unions.
Throughout his tenure, Obama waged war on labor. Perez won't change things. He'll replace Hilda Solis. She resigned in January. She accomplished little in four years. She's the daughter of immigrant union members. She failed to deliver as promised. She pledged to make a difference and didn't. Expect little change from Perez.
By Jordan Shilton - 4 March 2013
Ireland’s Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition have agreed [to] a new three-year plan with the trade unions which will see another €1 billion (US$1.3 billion) eliminated from public spending...The new plan targets public sector workers for pay cuts, longer working hours and the elimination of jobs. The working week will be increased for those working 35 hours or less to 37 hours, and for those working more than 35 hours to 39 or 40 hours. Evening overtime pay has been done away with, while increased pay for working on a Sunday has been cut by 12.5 percent.
By James Ridgeway - February 24, 2013
...[O]therwise progressive labor unions [further] America's addiction to mass incarceration. In terms of prisoners rights in general, and solitary confinement in particular, unions are seen as a major obstacle to more-humane conditions...[U]nions have fought proposed facility closures and the establishment of programs that would divert offenders into treatment and other lockup alternatives. They have frequently opposed reforms that could affect their members' autonomy, including oversight programs designed to curb abuses by prison employees.
By Charles Bogle and Fred Mazelis - WSWS
The Winter 2012-2013 issue of American Educator...features an article on Howard Zinn’s well-known A People’s History of the United States. The article, by Stanford University professor Sam Wineburg, is entitled, “Undue Certainty: Where Howard Zinn’s A People’s History Falls Short”...The AFT’s attack on Zinn...demonstrates that the union loyally defends the status quo. Wineburg’s attack is in part a preemptive attack, a warning that it will do its best to see that no exposure of the ruling elite is presented in middle- and high school classrooms.
By Warren Clark - Znet
The use of workfare has escalated over the past year...‘Mandatory work activity’, which compels people to work without pay for 30 hours a week for four weeks, has been expanded to 70,000 placements a year, despite Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) research showing that it had ‘zero effect’ on people’s chances of finding work. The so-called ‘work experience scheme’...is expected to put 250,000 people to work without pay over the next three years...With five other workfare schemes also in operation, it all adds up to workfare replacing paid jobs and driving down wages.
On the afternoon of January 31, we working men and women of Mexico dressed for mourning. Once again, the female and male Pemex workers have suffered the consequences of the negligence of the Pemex authorities. At least 32 people died, and in the media, there is talk of around 121 people injured and 30 people trapped. This extremely serious accident was caused by a lack of maintenance in the system of boilers of a building that houses around 20,000 female and male workers.
By Pierre Mabut and Antoine Lerougetel - 9 February 2013
The French Socialist Party government...has ordered the mobilization of the secret services and police to carry out surveillance of workers fighting mass unemployment and factory closures...The French minister of the interior...revealed on Tuesday that his political police are fully mobilized to spy on the growing revolt of workers at factories slated for layoffs or closure. He said this was necessary due to the risk of “social implosions or explosions.”
On Thursday evening, it was difficult to recognize Political Sciences, this “venerable institution,” that trains the future managerial staff of the bourgeoisie. The Boutmy Amphitheater...is more accustomed to welcoming heads of state and big bosses. On Thursday...this was very different. On the platform of the main lecture hall of the great Parisian school, representatives of the main current struggles, Sanofi, Air France, Virgin, Presstalis, PSA, Renault, Goodyear and Licenci’elles, soon came to appear in succession.
By Bryan Dyne - 5 February 2013
In addition to penning workers behind barricades and blocking them from mounting effective picket lines at bus yards, New York City cops have come to the direct aid of strike-breakers...“[New York Mayor] Bloomberg wants to be in charge of everything...He’s even got the cops fixing broken-down buses to scab on the mechanics.”