Troublemakers Blog

December 07, 2009 /
A daylong school held Saturday by the Vermont Workers Center and Labor Notes drew more than 200 participants, while at the same time 800 miles south 60 workplace activists from across the South were gathering. Their frankness about the weaknesses of our movement vs. the challenges capitalism has in store may sound tailor-made for a depressing day—but the »
December 03, 2009 / Mark Brenner
UPS Teamsters in New York City voted in a reform slate by to a 2-to-1 margin Thursday. It’s the second win in as many months for Teamsters reformers in the city, and it comes after a tireless yearlong campaign in a local with a long tradition of troublemaking. »
December 03, 2009 /
To combat a wave of staggering illegality in low-wage and poorly regulated industries, a Chicago worker center has collaborated with a local university to create a map of law-breaking employers against which they have organized, giving workers and activists a powerful visual tool to bring to politicians and the community. »
December 02, 2009 /
President Obama’s decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan is wrong for many reasons. At its October 15 meeting, the Executive Board of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO adopted a simple statement that sums up many of those reasons: “We need to stop the war in Afghanistan and focus the nation’s attention on the fight for jobs, education, health care and pensions »
December 01, 2009 /
As a former staff worker for Service Employees (SEIU) Local 660 (now 721) in Los Angeles from 1998 to 2007, I am appalled by the degeneration of SEIU under the direction of President Andy Stern. Union leaders like to proclaim how SEIU is “bigger,” “stronger,” and “more united” than ever. For member it's a different experience entirely: one member told me he »
November 30, 2009 / Mark Brenner
If you want a glimpse inside the legal maze global corporations have erected to fatten their bottom lines and keep workers off-balance, take a look at this video. Monica Sanchez, a worker at the vacuum-maker Bissell's warehouse in Elwood, Illinois, talks about what happened to her and her co-workers when they tried »
November 25, 2009 / Jane Slaughter
Chris Kutalik reported here recently that there’s something called the “lean community,” which exists to (1) spread the gospel of lean production and (2) make sure the name of lean is not blasphemed. “It’s not about speedup! Workers love lean production!” »
November 23, 2009 /
The sidewalk outside a restaurant in suburban Detroit was packed for the Friday night dinner rush—but it wasn't because the line was out the door. Restaurant workers and supporters were out front protesting a slew of minimum-wage violations, part of a national campaign against employers that steal wages. »
November 20, 2009 / Mischa Gaus
Despite many expressions of support and much advocacy for a single-payer health plan, it hasn't captivated the country in the lengthy health care debate nor moved a bill through Congress. The onus is on single-payer supporters to “take a step back," an AFL staffer argued. »
November 18, 2009 /
Attendees at an NUHW forum in Los Angeles had to pass a demonstration of a few hundred SEIU staffers and members who had arrived on buses. The SEIUers chanted, beat on drums, and threw eggs and water bottles in an unsuccessful effort to intimidate people from attending. »