Belabored Podcast #160: When One Job Isn’t Enough

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 22/09/2018 - 11:42am in

In cities across the country, Marriott hotel workers are forced to work second jobs to pay the bills. We talk with two worker-organizers planning to strike for a fairer contract.

The Best Way To Eradicate Poverty: Welfare Not Jobs

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 20/09/2018 - 1:00am in


Labor, poverty

The Census released its income, poverty, and health insurance data last week (ASEC, SPM). Among other things, the data allows us to see who was in poverty and therefore gives us good insights about how to eradicate poverty. In this post, I detail what I think these insights are using my own calculations of the 2017 microdata. Below is the overall poverty rate broken down by market income and disposable income. “Market income” refers to all income received from labor earnings and capital ownership. “Disposable income” refers to each person’s final income and takes into consideration taxes paid and government benefits received. For both figures, I use the poverty line of the Supplemental Poverty Metric. In 2017, the market poverty rate was 25 percent. The poverty rate when counting disposable income was 13.9 percent.

The Truth About Kavanaugh

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 13/09/2018 - 5:00pm in

What if the supreme court nominee was momentarily possessed by the spirt of honesty?

Right to Work

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/09/2018 - 5:00pm in

Blue collar and service workers in the US often work forced overtime on unlivable wages. One former grocery store worker tells her story.

Sadly, there is no strike wave

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/09/2018 - 5:26am in

In a September 8 post to the Jacobin website, Eric Dirnbach announced that “US workers are striking again.” In the piece, he discloses:

That’s why it’s fascinating that in 2018, we’re seeing a dramatic increase in the number of large work stoppages. I count sixteen for the first half of the year, including one lockout, which if this trend continues, puts us on track for thirty-two for the full year. The number of large work stoppages has not been thirty or more since the year 2000.

It would be lovely if this were true, but it’s not.

Dirnbach makes it clear in this piece that he doesn’t understand the strike stats at all. (And precision demands noting that the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] calls the series “work stoppages,” because it includes lockouts.) He seems to think the stats are released only annually, but in fact they’re regularly updated and available on the Bureau‘s website.

That data tells us that from January through July (the most recent month available), there were twelve large work stoppages (meaning involving 1,000 workers or more). If that rate is annualized, that would work out to 21 stoppages this year [12/(7/12) = 20.57]. As the top graph below shows, that’s not all that much of a departure from recent experience. That’s just a bit above 2011 and 2012’s 19. It ties 2007’s rate and falls short of 2005’s 22.


And by another measure, the share of workdays of “idleness” (gotta love the Calvinism of labor statisticians)—the number of workdays lost to stoppages (number of strikers times the length of the strike) as a percent of workdays throughout the U.S. economy—is barely off the 0 line, as the second graph shows.

Of course the year isn’t over yet, and anything could happen. But there’s no strike wave underway.

PS: Point of personal privilege—the article uses the lbo-news graph of union density from this article without credit. That’s not nice.

PPS: The Jacobin version was a reprint of a July Medium post. At least that version offered proper credit for the graph.

Why Graduate Unionization Matters Even More in the Age of Janus

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/09/2018 - 3:27am in

by by Ethan Ake-Little


With the start of the new academic year underway, students and instructors will again enter into a millennia old relationship built on mentorship, trust and mutual respect. However, this school year, instructors will be walking into a very different classroom not because the this relationship has changed, but because the Supreme Court has signaled it does not politically support the casue of teachers advocating for working conditions that strengthen this bond.

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French Labor’s Historical Defeat; U.S. Teachers’ Surprising Victories

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 10/09/2018 - 11:58am in


ImageAs the French get ready for the “rentrée” – the annual back-to-school/back-to-work day following the August vacation – social peace appears to reign in the land. The long-expected militant strikes and struggles against the neo-liberal counter-reforms introduced by President Macron early last Spring have failed to materialize. Surprisingly, the Macron government successfully force-marched its anti-labor, anti-welfare, pro-business agenda through parliament with little effective resistance by the unions and Left parties. Meanwhile, in the U.S., a wave of spontaneous teachers’ strikes spread from West Viriginia to other conservative ‘Red’ states, winning significant victories and surprising the media and the labor leadership. The contrast is surprising.

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Belabored Podcast #159: Fight or Die, with Barbara Madeloni and Celeste Robinson

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/09/2018 - 8:19am in


Blog, Education, Labor

Workers in St. Paul, Minnesota are seeking to build on a major Fight for 15 victory in neighboring Minneapolis. Plus: An update on the teacher strike wave.

“Labor Day” isn’t Labor Day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/09/2018 - 5:00pm in

The annual worker’s holiday in the rest of the world is May Day. Why not here?

Au Pair Smugglers Take Note Of Australia’s Soft Stance

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/09/2018 - 8:05am in


International au pair smuggling rings have taken note of Border Force’s lax attitude with thousands of boatloads of illegal before and after school helpers poised to flood into the country from the north.

“Australia is considered a soft touch by the many backpackers wanting to flee Paris where they desperately wish to escape being forced to look after horrid French children,” said an anonymous au pair smuggler in a dingy youth hostel in the back streets of Jakarta. “They are willing to spend their life savings for a position on a rickety fishing boat and set sail across treacherous seas carrying only a sexy maid’s outfit and a little stick with some feathers on the end of it.”

Of even more concern are reports that radical au pair terrorists could be infiltrating the homes of wealthy upper middle class Australians who are too lazy to pack their own kids off to school.

“We believe that sleeper agents from the terrorist group Au Qeada may have already entered the country disguised as genuine au pair refugees,” said international nanny terrorism expert Benjamin Hill. “They are a fundamentalist nannying organisation who don’t believe in cutting the crusts off sandwiches and who won’t play The Wiggles over and over no matter how many times your kids ask for it.”

New Zealand has stepped in and offered to take in any au pairs that Australia might reject if it adopts a tougher stance. It is believed they will all be resettled in the nursery of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Peter Green

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