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Timeline Photos/Occupy London | The Homeless

The Return of the Strike

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This year, thousands of teachers, hotel workers, Google employees, and others walked off the job and won major gains. Which raises two questions: Why now? And will this continue?

Steven Greenhouse, the American Prospect / Portside

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January6,2019 | For years, many labor experts seemed ready to write the obituary of strikes in America. In 2017, the number of major strikes—those involving more than 1,000 workers—dwindled to just seven in the private sector. Indeed, over the past decade, there were just 13 major strikes a year on average. That’s less than one-sixth the average annual number in the 1980s (83), and less than one-twentieth the yearly average in the 1970s (288).In 1971 alone, 2.5 million private-sector workers went on strike, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—that’s 100 times the number, 25,000, who went on strike in 2017.



Some labor experts say the recent surge of strikes could portend a new wave of labor activism, as more and more workers see that collective action can pay off.



But then came 2018 and a startling surge of strikes in both the private and public sectors. More than 20,000 teachers and other school employees walked out in West Virginia in February, followed by at least 20,000 more in Oklahoma. Probably the biggest educators’ strike came in Arizona, where more than 40,000 walked out. There were smaller, but still large, teacher walkouts in Colorado, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Steven Greenhouse <> was a reporter at the New York Times for 31 years and was its labor and workplace reporter from 1995 to 2014. He is the author of The Big Squeeze: Tough Time for the American Worker, and his new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, will be published next year. 

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Homeless America ~ Chris Hedges

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  • "I am the voice you never hear. If I spoke would you listen?"
  • Related: A Few Good Men//Portraits of Homelessness

Chris Hedges, Truthdig / Rise Up Times

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October 11, 2018 | It is 8 a.m. I am in the small offices of Street Roots, a weekly newspaper that prints 10,000 copies per edition. Those who sell the newspaper on the streets—all of them victims of extreme poverty and half of them homeless—have gathered before heading out with their bundles to spend hours in the cold and rain.



“Saying hello to somebody and you’re ignored. All this stuff adds up. You blame yourself. Subconsciously, you start hating yourself. Even though you are trying to think, you start blaming things in every direction. You will react to people who aren’t necessarily there to hurt you. But you feel everybody is. It’s overwhelming.”



“There is foot care on Mondays starting at 8 a.m. with the nurses,” Cole Merkel, the director of the vendor program, shouts above the chatter. “If you need to get your feet taken care of, come in for the nurses’ foot care. Just a really quick shout-out and thank you to Leo and Nettie Johnson, who called up to City Hall this week to testify about the criminalization of homelessness to City Council and the mayor. Super awesome.”

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Chris%20Hedges_1.jpg / Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Mr.%20Fish%20%28Dwayne%20Booth%29.jpg / Mr. Fish, also known as Dwayne Booth, is a cartoonist who primarily creates for Truthdig.com and Harpers.com. Mr. Fish’s work has also appeared nationally in The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, and more.

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Related:

A Few Good Men: Portraits of Homelessness, Daniel Lichtenstein-Boris, LA Progressive
 

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Homeless%20Vet%20Asleep%20on%20Sidewalk.jpgThe man held a sign on a piece of used cardboard, the word “Hungry” scrawled with a black magic marker. I stopped, and offered him a banana out of my lunch bag.  He said he didn’t eat them.  I dug into the bag.  I had some walnuts and raisins, which I offered.  He ate walnuts, and his partner, well, she ate raisins.
  • Related: Special Report | The Franklin Hiawatha Encampment

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Unions Can Protect Workers From Deportation. This Coalition of 3.5 Million Is Showing How.

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Teamsters, Working Families United, National TPS Alliance, LA County Federation of Labor, CARECEN, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) gathered together for a rally'nin Wilmington on Wednesday, October. 3, 2018. This marked the end of a 3-day strike by truckers and warehouse workers. (Photo by Brittany Murray/Digital First Media/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images) 

  • “We don’t ask that the government help take care of us. Just give us residency so we can continue to work hard with our families and move forward.” -- Cesar Rodriguez, the port driver and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holder from Los Angeles
  • Related: The Path Back to Equality Leads Through Unions.

Heather Gies, In These Times

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http://inthesetimes.com/images/2011/headers/BlogHed_working.gifThursday, Oct 18, 2018 | After more than two decades living, working, and building a family in the United States, Cesar Rodriguez feels his life is in limbo. The driver for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach from El Salvador is one of more than 300,000 immigrants at risk of losing their temporary legal status in the U.S. after the Trump administration scrapped the program for a handful of countries.

“I’m a trucker, and I make my living with my license. Without my license, I lose my job,” Rodriguez told In These Times. “If I lose my job, I would lose everything—even my family, because I wouldn’t have a way to support them.”

Heather Gies <http://inthesetimes.com/community/profile/322906> is a freelance journalist who writes about human rights, resource conflicts and politics in Latin America. She is also an editor at Upside Down World.

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Related:

The Path Back to Equality Leads Through Unions. Nathan Pippenger, Democracy

  • https://3yaxqw1hoybz1qcak31ysc9f-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/FemaleTradeUnion-704x481.jpgThe Nation summarizes an important new finding: Americans of the mid-twentieth century had unions to thank for their booming, egalitarian economy.
  • Related: New Study Confirms That American Workers Are Getting Ripped Off.

 




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Stop Trump's Social Security Administration Commissioner

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Tell the Senate Finance Committee: "We call on the U.S. Senate to reject Andrew Saul’s appointment as Commissioner of Social Security (SSA). A vote for Andrew Saul is a vote against Social Security."

Michael Phelan, Social Security Works

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October 2, 2018 | Since taking office, Social Security Works members have banded together to stop Donald Trump’s attempts to destroy our Social Security system.

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His annual budgets attempted to cut Social Security Disability Insurance and force the closure of the Social Security offices.

Social Security Works leads the fight every day to expand and protect our Social Security system.

Michael Phelan is Deputy Director of Social Security Works PAC.

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