Workers’ Rights: An International issue

workers-rights

At the very last minute, the strike planned by teachers was called off. At 4:00 am today, the Ontario Labour Relations Board declared that a planned one-day walkout by elementary school teachers is illegal and, subsequently, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation president ordered members to comply with the ruling. Teachers are not the only disgruntled public sector employees in Canada; sanitary workers, doctors and other medical personnel, and sanitation workers have had to reportedly accept a pay freeze as part of their salary negotiations.… [Read more]

Sociopaths and Sweets: Hostess, the Latest Example of Corporate Greed Run Amok

Stop Corporate Greed

A sociopath is someone whose behavior is often criminal and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. It is a term most frequently applied to individuals, but one that can easily be used in the context of corporate misbehavior, particularly when management makes decisions based on its own needs without regard for the consequences for its workers or shareholders.… [Read more]

Call It What It Is: “Right to Work Against Your Own Interests”

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As a writer I love words and language. I like the force of words, how they echo in the mind long after they’ve registered. I never take for granted how powerful words can be, so when people pervert language to delude and mislead, I know stupid things can happen.

There is one long trail of stupid running behind Republican pollster Frank Luntz, aptly described as the godfather of the conservative spin machine.… [Read more]

I hate to break it to you, but you’re not one of ‘them’. Part I: The Working Class

Mistake! You're not one of them!

Voters often make their choices based on where they believe they fit in. At times, determining where we fit in can be a challenge but, as a public service, I’m here to help. Fellow occupants of the working class (i.e., ‘the rest of us’) allow me to provide you with the information you need — but I’ll begin with this direct approach for those of you who are firmly planted on the right:

Unless you are part of the ’1%’, voting for the GOP doesn’t make you one of them.[Read more]

What Labor and Unions Did for You

Funeral_for_Ludlow_strikers

I found the story of the 1914 Ludlow Massacre, and it spoke to me.

Here’s a brief synopsis from the excellent piece above:

“… the Ludlow Massacre of striking coal miners, [which] was one of the most brutal attacks on organised labour in North American history.

It was the pinnacle of efforts by the National Guard and local strike-breakers under the command of the Rockefeller family to suppress a strike of twelve thousand workers.[Read more]

Let There Be Light…and Jobs

Visualizing the Grid

Recently, union workers took to the streets to protest a company’s refusal to negotiate some of the terms of their employment contract. Strikes based on salary or benefits are common enough but what made this situation different was that it was at an electric utility company, and it took place in the face of both utility companies’ record profits and this summer’s record temperatures.… [Read more]

Politics Aside: I Am a Teacher

2012-08-24 15.29.17

I know that by and large this is a website about politics and current event issues.

And I know that when I talk about education here it’s about policies and politics and all that jazz.

With the start of school being here, I suppose it’s expected that I have something to say about the whole thing.… [Read more]

Labor Unions Help Promote Democracy For All

Union Firefighters

The issue of organized labor unions will likely play a key role in the debates leading up to the November presidential election. The debate began in earnest back in June with the Wisconsin Governor recall vote. Governor Scott Walker’s victory has been seen by some observers as the start of the end for organized labor unions in the United States.… [Read more]