Andrew C. McKevitt: UAW’s Defeat at Nissan and the Path Forward

On August 4, 2017, workers at Nissan’s assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi, voted to reject representation by the United Auto Workers union. The loss stung, to be sure, but the once-powerful UAW has become accustomed to failure in its efforts to organize auto production facilities operated by foreign companies. Twice previously, in 1989 and 2001, workers rejected the union at Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tennessee,—the company’s first North American plant, and only the second Japanese-owned plant in the United States. Continue Reading Andrew C. McKevitt: UAW’s Defeat at Nissan and the Path Forward

Anne Balay: Queer Steelworkers and Labor Unions

I asked him to recall all the people he has worked with—all his union brothers and sisters, down through the years—and count the gay ones. Almost surprised, he said there were none. Of course, he knew as well as I do that there have been many, but that they did not identify themselves as such. My task is then to convince him that their silence was not simply a choice, but rather that it was made in fear, and comes with crippling consequences. Continue Reading Anne Balay: Queer Steelworkers and Labor Unions

Excerpt: Commonsense Anticommunism by Jennifer Luff

Doubting the capacity of the law to distinguish between legitimate militancy and subversive radicalism, labor conservatives disapproved of legislation outlawing sedition. Instead they pursued a voluntarist program of evangelizing about the evils of Communism and excluding Communists from AFL unions. In the aftermath of the first Red Scare, labor conservatives formed a crucial backstop against reaction. In the late 1930s, the situation changed. Alienated from the New Deal order and at odds with liberal union leaders in the competing Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO), labor conservatives abandoned commonsense anticommunism for calculated red-baiting. Continue Reading Excerpt: Commonsense Anticommunism by Jennifer Luff

Michael Bowen: War on the Middle Class, Then and Now

Today’s political fault lines are direct descendants of the postwar Republican split. Continue Reading Michael Bowen: War on the Middle Class, Then and Now

Vanessa May: Domestic Workers, “Nannygates,” and the IRS

Vanessa May discusses the history of the struggle for domestic workers to be protected by labor laws. Continue Reading Vanessa May: Domestic Workers, “Nannygates,” and the IRS

There Is Power in a Union

YouTube: Billy Bragg – There Is Power in a Union Laid off with a mere 3 days’ notice (instead of the legally required 60 days) and denied severance, health insurance, and earned vacation pay, about 200 employees of Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago have been peacefully occupying the Republic factory for five days. Last… Continue Reading There Is Power in a Union