November

French strikes: the end or beginning?

PARIS — During France’s powerful public workers’ strikes of November-December 1995, the political waters were somewhat muddy. On the one hand, President Jacques Chirac had based his recent election campaign on the theme of opposing “social fracture” and disharmony. On the other, newly appointed Prime Minister Alain Juppé had just launched a violent attack on welfare and on public workers’ pay and retirement benefits.

America is missing its middle

If your Oreo didn’t have the sugary white middle, wouldn’t you notice? If, over time, your car tire middles collapsed, you would notice. So why for so long has our country’s middle been allowed to disappear without notice or correction?

Fix the health care system

ASHTABULA, Ohio — Health Care for All was the topic at the Town Hall meeting here Nov. 10 at People’s Missionary Baptist Church. The meeting, endorsed by the NAACP and the Ashtabula AFL-CIO and Retiree Council, featured an impressive panel of public officials and community leaders who presented strong arguments for repairing our broken health care system

Shut down NLRB for renovations, Ohio unionists demand

CLEVELAND — A spirited crowd of Working America, Jobs with Justice and local unions’ members picketed the federal building here Nov. 19 to protest a new raft of anti-labor decisions by the National Labor Relations Board.

Collapse in mine safety, report says

PITTSBURGH — “The collapse of MSHA began when Bush appointed David Lauriski in 2001,” says mine safety expert Jack Spadaro. “That set in motion all the processes and disasters in coal mining making headlines now.”

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Fans back writers in week 4 of strike

NEW YORK — A thousand striking writers and their backers rallied in Washington Square Park here Nov. 27 to kick off the fourth week of a strike by the Writers Guild of America against an array of U.S. media conglomerates.

Labor leaving no stone un-turned

Organized labor is flexing its muscles, showing that it is tired of taking it on the chin. If the unions have their way, between now and Election Day, even the ultra-right lock on the White House and Congress could be broken.

School workers tell Aramark no free lunch

PHILADELPHIA -- More than 1,000 workers and their supporters marched to Aramark Tower here –the food service company’s national headquarters—in a spirited demonstration to protest the corporate giant’s refusal to refund $7 million they say it owes to the School District of Philadelphia.

Big rail strike rocks Germany

BERLIN — It’s the biggest labor struggle in years in Germany, and it’s not over yet. On Nov. 28 the locomotive engineers and other train personnel just closed down much of the railroad system for 62 hours for freight and 48 hours for passenger transportation and may do it again next week, possibly without the limited strike length used up till now.

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BOOK REVIEW: Four centuries of U.S. working-class literature

In his poem “A Worker Reads History,” Bertolt Brecht wrote: Who built the Seven Gates of Thebes? The books are filled with kings. Was it kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?

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