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.

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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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Two tales of one city: First the death, now the resurrection

NEW ORLEANS — It wasn’t the hurricane that almost killed this city. From day one, after Katrina, the Bush administration used this town as a laboratory to experiment with every type of right-wing social engineering scheme imaginable, and if it weren’t for the labor movement and its allies, they just might have succeeded.

From Oregon to Virginia, voters reject Republican right

Voters in the Nov. 6 off-year election made clear once again that they are fed up with the pro-corporate policies of the Republican right and looking for positive changes like ending the Iraq war, rooting out corruption and saving the environment.

Unionists energized for election battles

WASHINGTON (PAI) — Off-year election results in state and municipal races on Nov. 6 show union voters are already energized for 2008, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney says. And they also show unionists and the country want “a clear rejection of Bush administration policies,” adds federation Political Director Karen Ackerman.

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