Australia is known to many people for its sunshine and sporting prowess. But every so often rain stops play. As G20 labor ministers gathered at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, a wall of torrential thunderstorms and flash flooding hit the city. And rain nearly stopped play.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, I became a graphic artist in D.C. Twenty years later, I was involved with the labor movement. At the time, I didn't think that there was a connection between the two, but now I'm quite sure that there is.
The flagging economy that welcomed Millennials into the workforce means that not only are our young people graduating with far fewer opportunities for high paying jobs, but they are coming out of college with mountains of debt.
Even America's academics, who used to be one of organized labor's staunchest and most reliable friends, have turned their attention elsewhere, apparently bored or fed up with what they see passing for the current "labor movement."
If you want a good deal on a flat-screen TV, you can read about Walmart's pre-Christmas sale in the Los Angeles Times. But if you want to learn how Walmart's poverty-wage workers in the region will be coping with this year's holiday season, don't look for it in L.A.'s paper of record.
This Labor Day, the Sierra Club joins in celebrating working people everywhere. If we want to help working families, protect our air and water, and achieve justice for all Americans, we must first defend our democracy.
I agree with about 98 percent of the political opinions Bill Maher regularly presents on his HBO television show Real Time With Bill Maher The man can be both hilariously funny and dead-on brilliant. But there are three things about him that drive me up the wall.
The need for home care workers is dramatically increasing with each passing year. Yet, low wages, long hours and no benefits will continue to drive more workers out of these important jobs. The tragic result will be more Americans with disabilities denied the services they need.
Union membership is a luxury. A middle-class income is a luxury. In fact, everything north of genteel poverty is a luxury. In some ways, it feels like the storied American Labor Movement never happened.
Indeed, there were hundreds of episodes where club-carrying goon squads on the company's payroll cracked the skulls of picketers and strike captains, causing the streets to run red with blood. And where were the police while these thugs were whaling on the picketers?
Too many working people across the country have to hope for overtime, string together two or three jobs or rely on public benefits to financially stay afloat. Contractors and corporations are reaping the benefits of a productive workforce yet they aren't equitably sharing those rewards.
Labor must think about what people want and need, and about what moves them to action. Tales of faded glory or heroic defeat are not enough. We must talk about possibility and hope, about building the future, not about trying to hold ground that can't be defended.
The real winners and losers are the constituents and causes who did battle on the ground and on the airwaves, and whose lives and livelihoods will be influenced by what happens over the next four years and beyond.
I walked in and meandered around the shop, looking at the pricy shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets, shoes, and other articles of clothing. After examining the apparel, I couldn't find any items with a union label. What gives?