, a critically-acclaimed
new film given a limited release in the US today
, tells the true story
of how a small group of LGBT activists became the biggest fundraiser for the year-long British coal miner's strike
of 1984-85. The miners faced a pre-meditated
, organized, thuggish
, and illegal surveillance
and smear campaign
by the Thatcher government, which froze all mining union funds, cancelled their unemployment, and denied food and housing welfare to their wives and children, in an attempt to starve them out. For the first time, the British government trained Britain's police into a paramilitary force
, bused in at great expense and in great numbers to overwhelm the protesters
, using violent, repressive, and corrupt tactics
against non-violent protesters
, with prolonged police detentions and the indiscriminate arrest of over 11,000 British citizens
. The government was supported by the rightwing tabloid media
, who used sensationalist, crude headlines
to shape public opinion. LGBT activists reclaimed one such headline as the name
of their most successful benefit
Although the miner's strike was broken by the Thatcher government, the miners kept their promise to support the LGBT community, by marching alongside them at the front
of London's 1985's Pride parade.. Later that year at the Labour Party conference, a motion was tabled that supported adding equal rights for gays and lesbians as part of the Party's platform. This motion was opposed by Labour's executive committee, but the motion went to a vote – and passed
, thanks to the votes of the National Union of Mineworkers and their allies.
One Generation’s Time: The Legacy of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes
(YouTube, 1 hour). The story of two activists who fought to improve the lives of Filipino workers in Alaskan canneries, their murders by members of a street gang, and the eight-year investigation that ultimately found Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos responsible for their deaths. [more inside]
The other night I was on the train
coming home and there was this young girl with three young children, and she had a container of milk, and I heard the middle child of the three ask, "Mom, can I have some milk?" and the mother said, "No, you know we need it for the baby." And I remembered feeling like that.
Given to the Oxford Union
, I submit a lecture on the nature of celebrity
by one Jack Gleeson, best known as "Little Boy"
in Batman Begins, but also for his role in HBO's "Game of Thrones".
"Everyone Only Wants Temps"
- My stint doing "on demand" grunt work for one of America's hottest growth industries
It's not a pretty formula, but it works. With 600 offices and a workforce of 400,000—more employees than Target or Home Depot—Labor Ready is the undisputed king of the blue-collar temp industry. Specializing in "tough-to-fill, high-turnover positions," the company dispatches people to dig ditches, demolish buildings, remove debris, stock giant fulfillment warehouses—jobs that take their toll on a body. [more inside]
In what could be the largest strike of its kind, hundreds of fast food workers
in Detroit walked off their jobs on Friday, echoing the rallying cry heard (or not
?) across the country that the currently underpaid workers
deserve $15 an hour
and the right to form a union without retaliation. Friday's strike in Detroit comes on the heels of similar actions in other cities—Wednesday and Thursday in St. Louis
, and in Chicago
and New York City last month
May 9 was the grand opening of Chicago's New Era Windows Cooperative, a unionized, 100% worker owned and operated window manufacturer with an interesting history. "In 2008, the boss decided to close our windows factory on Goose Island and fire everyone. In 2012, we decided to buy the factory for ourselves and fire the boss. We now own the plant together and run it democratically. This is our story."
On May 16, 1934, the Teamsters local 574 of Minneapolis, Minnesota called for a strike to stop all truck deliveries in the city
not run by union workers. This 1981 documentary tells the story in the workers' own words. Part 1
, part 2
Economists and the theory of politics
- "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
The Real Cuban Missile Crisis
: Everything you think you know about those 13 days is wrong.
In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
Thought the "rubber rooms" where New York City teachers were sent to wait for disciplinary hearings were closed? Not so much. [more inside]
American Airlines has been forced to cancel 300 flights this week
as pilots, upset over a discouraging deal with their union (including pay and benefits cuts), have begun calling in sick in high numbers
For the first time since 1987, Chicago public school teachers will strike.
Last year, the city council in Chicago passed a law mandating that 75% of Chicago Teachers Union
members would need to vote to authorize a strike. In June, CTU announced that they had met that threshold
, and that they would strike if negotiations with Chicago Public Schools over job security, evaluations, and a longer school day with no extra pay for teachers, failed. They did, and tonight Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, announced that as of midnight tonight, public school teachers in Chicago are on strike.
Is there a man (or woman) among us with pluck enough
to wear Big Bill Haywood's
? [more inside]
Over the last
, a few
the United States have experienced
their own, unique
, fiscal crisis: bankruptcy. [more inside]
Caterpillar, after record profits, squeezes its union
for a six-year wage and pension freeze and increased insurance contributions - not because it has to, but because it can. As the machinists' union enters its fourth month on strike, the company says it's getting along just fine with temps and union workers who have crossed the picket line. Private-sector union membership is now at an all-time low of 6.9%
. Even as calls to remedy America's income inequality
grow from Occupy and other movements, nobody in power is helping. The Democratic Party's ship has long since
Mark Ames (of the eXile
): The Left’s Big Sellout
– How the ACLU and Human Rights Groups Quietly Exterminated Labor Rights (via naked capitalism
) [more inside]
One Minnesota union's tongue-in-cheek response
to a proposal to make Minnesota a so-called "Right to Work" State. [more inside]
Growing up, she was a beloved celebrity in her home country. Thousands of girls were named after her. So was a bestselling perfume
. But Josef Stalin's "Little Sparrow," his only daughter, (born Svetlana Stalina) defected to the United States in 1967. Upon arriving in New York, she promptly held a press conference
that surprised the world, denouncing her father's regime. Svetlana
became a naturalized US citizen, moved to Taliesin West, married an American, changed her name to Lana Peters, then returned to the Soviet Union in 1984, declaring
that she had not been free "for one single day" in the U.S., only to once again
return to America in 1986. She lived out her remaining days in a small town in Wisconsin
. Mrs. Peters passed away
from colon cancer on November 22nd, at the age of 85. [more inside]
Australia's Qantas Airlines has been left red-faced after an ill-timed public relations campaign and Twitter competition backfired, drawing thousands of angry responses. The contest ran a day after talks with unions broke down, and after Qantas grounded its entire fleet in October.
Thousands of passengers were stranded worldwide after the firm halted flights in an attempt to end months of strike action by workers angered by the firm's restructuring plans.
The "Qantas Luxury" promotion, launched on 22 November, quickly tapped into customers' ire.
"I never felt like passing out in a warehouse and I never felt treated like a piece of crap in any other warehouse but this one," Goris said. "They can do that because there aren't any jobs in the area."
The Allentown newspaper The Morning Call investigates life inside of one of Amazon's newest warehouses. [more inside]
In 2002 a Mrs. Soile Tuulikki Lautsi, a Finnish/Italian woman and member of the Italian Union of Atheists, Agnostics and Rationalists objected to the crucifixes on the wall
of her child’s public school. [more inside]
Two weeks ago, the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted 4-3 [video]
the controversial anti-union Budget Repair Bill
, which a district judge had declared void due to a law requiring 24 hours' public notice of meetings. The Supreme Court's deliberations were heated. The liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley now says that after she asked conservative Justice David Prosser to leave her office, he put his hands around her neck
in a choke-hold
. Justice Prosser denies the allegation. [more inside]
While outside Parliament it is 2:00 AM EST, Friday June 24, inside it will remain the "Thursday June 23 Chamberverse"
until the Canadian House of Commons rises. Canada's new Official Opposition, the New Democratic party
is currently filibustering the Conservative
majority government over Bill C-6
- An act to provide for the Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services
brought forward to force postal workers at Canada Post
, an arms-length Crown Corporation
back to work. [more inside]
Joel Klein wrote an essay in the Atlantic
about the reasons for the current problems in the primary educational system.
"I don't think the chief of police drinks water when he's having a meal."
Members of the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, the French riot police, are up in arms about a new regulation forbidding them to drink alcohol during the workday. The ban is said to be a reaction to widely publicized photos of riot police drinking beer while policing a high-school student demonstration
Ikea's U.S. factory churns out unhappy workers
. A union-organizing battle hangs over the Ikea plant in Virginia. Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace, mandatory overtime and racial discrimination.
There is a constitutional crisis
in Cheeseland. If you haven't been paying attention
, WI governor Scott Walker and the Republican controlled Senate and Assembly passed a controversial bill and signed it
. [more inside]
The protests in Wisconsin have drawn criticism from some quarters, leading to the firing of a deputy AG in Indiana
After a lawsuit forced the WI DoA
to have emails to Governor Walker released, certain others have claimed to have "had their email hacked
". Not so much.