Category Archives: labor

Labor Abuse as Product Placement at the World Cup

The 2022 soccer World Cup began its takeover of global sports channels on November 20, transmitting endless images of cosmopolitan crowds enjoying the sparkling new stadiums of Qatar to audiences around the world. The country that hosts the World Cup … Continue reading

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The Move toward Socialism in the United States

People on the Left are understandably preoccupied with the growing strength of fascism, white supremacist and antisemitic rhetoric and violence, and the growth of extreme right-wing groups. There is no doubt that these developments represent an obstacle to badly needed … Continue reading

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A Time of Monsters: The New Nadir and the Crisis of the Black Worker

We currently reside in what Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci called “A Time of Monsters.” Exacerbated by the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic, the Black working classes continue to struggle under what Black Studies scholar Sundiata Cha-Jua has dubbed “the New Nadir.” For … Continue reading

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March Issue Front Cover

WOMEN”S HISTORY MONTH ISSUE  409 total views,  1 views today

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Union Women on the Move

Hopeful signs of a labor resurgence are everywhere. Despite another decline in the unionized percentage of the labor force and the stalemate in efforts at labor law reform, new frontiers in union organizing have emerged, strikes are on the upswing, … Continue reading

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I Love My Job, But . . .

The University of Illinois is part of the US land-grant university system. Each state has a land-grant university that operates a Cooperative Extension Service, which provides non-formal education to agricultural producers and communities in each county in Illinois. I work … Continue reading

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It’s Not a Labor Shortage, It’s a Workers’ Rights Shortage

The Great Uprising, the Great Resignation, even the unofficial General Strike: analysts and pundits—left, right and center—speak of mounting worker unrest in the US in awestruck terms. What these labels certainly do capture is the expansive scale of this unrest … Continue reading

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On the Front Lines of the Climate Crisis: Our Farmworkers Face Heat’s Deadly Dangers

Heat kills, and it kills farmworkers with distressing regularity. The list of the dead includes migrants like 17-year-old Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez in the grape fields of California; 38-year-old Francisco Perez working in a tree nursery outside Portland; Miguel Angel … Continue reading

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Anarchism and the American Labor Movement

Anarchists, proponents of “anti-authoritarian socialism,” seek to abolish the state and capitalism. Anarchism replaces authoritarian governance and private ownership of resources with federations of self-managed industries and communities in which those affected by decisions participate in making them directly in … Continue reading

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What Can we Learn from The Amazon Union Vote in Bessemer, Alabama?

During the past year, as the pandemic reshaped our daily lives, the media has paid more attention to work and workers than it has in a long time. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the deep inequalities that persist … Continue reading

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Remembering: Anne Feeney

She carried a business card that read: “Performer, Producer, Hellraiser.” And that is who Anne Feeney was throughout her time as a traveling troubadour on behalf of social justice. Born July 1, 1951 just outside of Pittsburgh into an Irish-American … Continue reading

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The University and its Workers during the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has affected universities all over the country and the world. Different institutions have chosen different approaches, from keeping all courses online and discouraging students from returning (Smith College, Harvard University, etc.) to a full opening of residential … Continue reading

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Disruptive Shift Changes for UIUC Custodial Staff

Jenni Walkup is a public anthropology MA student at American University who lives in Champaign. She works in education and writes about movements and social change. She’s very good at Bananagrams. In August, 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of … Continue reading

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SEIU Statement Regarding the Changes in the Building Services Department at UIUC

The University decided in mid-spring that it would reopen for the 2020 fall semester, a decision that would require drastic, “emergency” changes in our department and to the working conditions of SEIU members. Management didn’t notify union leadership until July … Continue reading

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The Migrants of India Before and During the Covid-19 Crisis

The global COVID-19 pandemic claims to spare no race, religion, or social class. Yet over and over we see marginalized and vulnerable communities struggling to get the care and shelter they need during this crisis. India, like numerous other countries, … Continue reading

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World Labor Hour Farewell 

The airshifters at WRFU 104.5 FM are sad to announce that the end of one of our most beloved programs, the World Labor Hour, is drawing near. Hosted by David Johnson, Bill Gorrell, and Gus Wood, the World Labor Hour … Continue reading

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The Pandemic and Pro Wrestling

In the November, 2019 Public i, I wrote about one of the earliest gig economies: professional wrestling. There, independent pro wrestler David Starr discussed the incredibly imbalanced power dynamics of the corporate wrestling scene in America. While watching corporations and … Continue reading

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GEO Drive to Survive Rally

The Public i has received this press release from the Graduate Employees’ Organization. We have published it in its entirety below. ———————————————————————————————————- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30, 2020 CONTACT: Owen MacDonald 913-944-2676 ojmacdonald@gmail.com GRADUATE WORKERS’ DRIVE TO SURVIVE MAY DAY … Continue reading

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Fighting for the Soul of Public Education

The administration of the University of California, Santa Cruz announced on Friday, February 28 that it would fire fifty-four graduate instructors who are on strike at the University. The announcement comes as the latest move in a nation-wide wave of … Continue reading

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An Early Gig Economy: Pro Wrestling

By now, almost everybody knows that professional wrestling is a “worked” sport—requiring wrestlers to advance storylines, choreograph matches and implement predetermined outcomes set by the industry’s bookers and writers. Yet the in-ring entertainment provided by these men and women can … Continue reading

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