Troublemakers Blog

April 09, 2010 / Paul Abowd
After nearly three years without a contract, Washington Teachers Union President George Parker and DC Schools Chief Michelle Rhee announced a tentative agreement this week. Flanked by Mayor Adrian Fenty and AFT President Randi Weingarten, the two lined up behind a privately-funded agreement that would institute merit pay while continuing to whittle away at »
April 07, 2010 /
Four years after the horror of the Sago Mine disaster, another West Virginia mine explosion has claimed dozens more miners' lives. One thing requires no further investigation: The mine owner, like so many American employers, does everything they can to fight the regulation and union organizing that empowers workers to protect themselves. And now another 25 »
April 06, 2010 /
Temporary staffing agencies are trumpeted by economists as a bellwether of an economic recovery, but for those blue-collar workers who gather each morning in the waiting rooms of light-industry staffing agencies hoping to “catch out” and get a work ticket, each day brings uncertainty, and little hope of a bridge to stable, living-wage employment. Dick J. Reavis »
April 03, 2010 / Paul Abowd
After six months of rocky contract talks, hotel workers have launched a boycott of the Westin hotel in downtown Providence to protest the company’s deep unilateral wage and benefit cuts, as well as work speedups. The rain-or-shine pickets, on for two weeks now, got going right as the hotel hosted an influx of guests for the NCAA basketball tournament in late »
April 01, 2010 /
Twenty-six leaders of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) are in a San Francisco court facing bogus charges made by the Service Employees International Union. The real reason they’re in front of a judge and jury is that growing numbers of unhappy SEIU members are leaving SEIU to join NUHW. »
March 31, 2010 /
What a disappointment was last week’s This American Life. This episode of the popular one-hour show on public radio was a snapshot of how the auto industry could have been saved—if only executives had learned from the innovations pioneered at the NUMMI plant in California, a joint Toyota-GM experiment created »
March 29, 2010 / Mischa Gaus
Bill Fletcher, ex-AFL-CIO staffer and Center for Labor Renewal co-founder, diagnoses the disarray in the U.S. labor movement in a short interview with "The Real News Network," arguing it results from an excessive reliance on an inside-the- »
March 25, 2010 /
Teachers at four charter schools on Chicago’s northwest side went public last week with their organizing campaign, marching into their buildings to present principals with cards. The schools, run by ASPIRA Inc., are the latest campaign by the fledgling charter organizing project called the Chicago Alliance of »
March 24, 2010 / Jane Slaughter
What’s weird about the whole health insurance fracas is that Republicans and some insurance company execs fought just as hard against the crappy bill we have before us as if it were really what they claim it is: a vast government “intrusion” into health care. »
March 23, 2010 /
Two myths have surrounded Toyota’s rise to dominance in the global auto industry: (1) Toyota is about quality for the customer, and (2) Toyota’s quality and productivity are forged on respect for its workforce. »