No group in America, aside from Latino activists, is a more steadfast champion of generous immigration reform than organized labor. That stance, declares the AFL-CIO, is “based on the simple idea that working people are strongest when we work together and the labor movement is strongest when we are open to all workers, regardless of where they come from.” READ MORE >>
The disaster in Bangladesh didn't have to happen. Here's what needs to happen next.
I’ve never been to Bangladesh, but, because of a job I once had that involved inspecting factories, I’ve seen a lot of grim workplaces in various parts of the world, from China to Tunisia. I saw Indian workers in Jordan who hadn’t been paid for months and whose passports had been confiscated by the factory owners. I saw Chinese workers who worked all day amid overwhelming polyurethane fumes that I could barely stand for even a few minutes. Most factories weren’t nearly so bad, but the world’s got a lot of factories. READ MORE >>
An investigation into the barely regulated, unsafe business of looking after our children
It was 5:30 in the morning when Kenya Mire looked down READ MORE >>
An argument about work, life, and the modern calendar
My first mommy date—you know, those painstakingly-dressed-for occasions you hope will turn the mother of your child’s new best friend into your best friend, too—also gave me my first taste of the shame that makes the mommy wars so bitter. Tali’s husband worked on Wall Street, she stayed home with the children, and the playroom in their restored Victorian on a lake in Westchester was photo-spread perfect. READ MORE >>
A mine massacre and the fight for South Africa's future
On the morning of Thursday, August 16, 2012, as thousands of striking South African miners marched in circles atop a pile of red rocks, the police lined up their tanks in front of it. Roughly 30 feet high and 50 feet across, the rock pile was the closest thing to a mountain for miles, jutting out of the flat expanse of the mining area called Marikana, 60 miles northwest of Johannesburg. READ MORE >>
Can a coal company get away with breaking promises to workers?
Eddie Bullock spent 27 years in the southern Illinois coal mines working for Peabody Energy, the largest coal-mining company in the world (infamously memorialized by John Prine.) He retired in 1998, when his mine shut down. He’s now 72 years old and suffers from black lung disease; his wife has emphysema, and both have oxygen tanks at their side at all times. READ MORE >>
In marijuana, labor has found a growth industry. The Obama administration has other ideas.
Early one morning in April, DEA and IRS agents and U.S. marshals raided several Oakland properties owned by Richard Lee, then the leading figure of California’s medical-marijuana industry. At Oaksterdam University, Lee’s multistory business school for marijuana workers, agents went in with power saws, a sledgehammer, and a small battering ram, and walked out with file drawers and bags full of loose documents. READ MORE >>
The enforced happiness of Pret A Manger
For a good long while, I let myself think that the slender platinum blonde behind the counter at Pret A Manger was in love with me. How else to explain her visible glow whenever I strolled into the shop for a sandwich or a latte? Then I realized she lit up for the next person in line, and the next. Radiance was her job. READ MORE >>
In the middle of last summer, as the presidential race was heading into its home stretch, there was a flurry of news about layoffs at Ohio coal mines owned by Murray Energy, whose more than 3,000 employees make it the largest privately-headed coal-mining concern in the country. Murray announced that it was going to shut down one mine entirely in September or October -- the Red Bird West mine, a surface-mining operation in Brilliant, Ohio that employed 56 people under the subsidiary name OhioAmerican Energy. READ MORE >>
Unions have shrunk. The vocabulary we use to describe them should, too.
Here are a few headlines from the Wall Street Journal's opinion section over the past year:Big Labor's Wisconsin Vendetta (January 24, 2012)Big Labor's Premium (June 6, 2012) READ MORE >>