USA

American labor isn’t dead, but definitely needs to wake up

The mood and discussions of late have largely been doom and gloom. Our series has tried to shine a light on some hope for workers resistance to counter the demobilize barrage of social and anti-social media. Our final piece in the Labor under Trump series comes from Ideas and Action the online publication of the Workers Solidarity Alliance. David Fernández-Barrial argues that there is an untapped potential within workplaces to defeat the threats looming, and take us closer to a just and equitable society.

Labor’s death under trump? The potential for a renewed workers movement in an era of dangers

Following the Trump victory speculation has been rampant and has led to various proclamations yet again of the death of labor. Our third piece exploring the potentials for labor under Trump comes from one of our editors S Nicholas Nappalos. He argues that while these dangers are real, they also come with new possibilities for a militant participatory workers movement. Moreover it is not apolitical unions that can address the weaknesses of the labor movement heading into a collision with this government, but an active politicized union movement marking its opposition to both capital and the state.

This Is Not a Drill: Bracing for the Trump Era

In our second installment in our Labor under Trump mini-series, Mark Brenner from Labor Notes explores what union members can do in the face of anticipated threats. At this point most of the debate is speculation, but the labor notes piece is worth discussing because they explore concrete experiences in areas where anti-labor policies have been implemented such as organizing in right-to-work states and solidarity with coworkers independent of their immigration status. Brenner paints a picture of a labor movement at a crossroads, a theme we will return to next week.

Labor under Trump

Great four-part series from the Recomposition blog about the implications for the American working class of the Republican majorities in every branch of government with President Trump at it’s helm.

Against factional struggles in ruling classes/elites

The racsim and anti racsim

The polarization in the US following the Trump electoral victory is transformed to the ex-western bloc geography. The ruling classes' inter class struggle reflects an underlying class struggle -- “uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight ” (Marx) -- which is moving in a real-time speed and surely globally.

When toil meant trouble: Butte's labour heritage

1914: radical miners attack their union HQ for being too close with management

A short roundup of key events in working class history in Butte, Montana, with a labour history timeline from the 19th century up to 1986, by George Everett.

Database of repression of the IWW, 1906-1920

An IWW office after a police raid, 1919

A table detailing hundreds of instances of state and employer repression of the revolutionary Industrial Workers of the World union in the United States in the early part of the 20th century.

Review: Cesar Chavez, the United Farm Workers, and the Question of Unions in Contemporary Capitalism

Cesar Chavez

Loren Goldner's extensive review and analysis of Frank Bardacke. Trampling Out The Vintage. Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers (Verso).

Violence in the 1979 Imperial Valley Lettuce strike

LA Times article from 1986 discussing the court hearings about violence deployed during the Imperial Valley lettuce strike 1979. The article is not sympathetic to the workers, but contains information not easily found elsewhere.

Lettuce Strike Apparently Succeeding Despite Odds

Washington Post article from 5th February 1979 on the Imperial Valley Lettuce Strike