Category Archives: labor

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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Strike Averted! Workers of SEIU Local 73 Ratify Contract with University Administration

From November of 2018 until August, 2019, the workers of Service Employees International Union Local 73 were negotiating a new contract with the UIUC administration. In July, members of the local overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike. Formal notice of … Continue reading

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May Day Rally 2019

This is the text of a speech given at the GEO May 1 rally on the UIUC Main Quad. Thanks to the GEO for having me. Not just because May Day is truly and historically a celebration of anarchist labor … Continue reading

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It’s Not an Immigration Crisis, It’s a Global Labor Tragedy

An underclass of “undocumented” workers in the U.S., sweatshops in Asia, child miners in Africa, contract ironworkers in Dubai … we live in a world of globalized labor exploitation. This doesn’t just mean a world where workers in many countries … Continue reading

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GEO Statement Against the Proposed ICE Detention Center in Dwight, Illinois

February 28, 2019 We, the Graduate Employees Organization at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign IFT/AFT Local 6300 AFL-CIO, strongly condemn the proposed construction of a private prison in Dwight, Illinois. The Dwight Planning Commission met on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 … Continue reading

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The Labor Problem

by Eugene V. Debs – unsigned editorial in Locomotive Firemen’s Monthly Magazine, vol. 3, no. 5 (May 1879), p. 146. Whatever politicians may say to the contrary, however much they may attempt to lead the masses away from the truth, … Continue reading

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No Time to Wait: Let’s Make a Green New Deal!

As a series of intergovernmental panels and the March 15 global wave of student strikes remind us, the environmental crisis is no longer a thing of the future. It is our here and now, exacting a toll on the world’s … Continue reading

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Women Workers on the March: UNITE HERE Hotel Workers Strike

Currently women workers are leading the march of labor in this country. Although it is lost amid the headlines of the #MeToo movement, this movement’s call for an end to sexual harassment and assault is at its core a demand … Continue reading

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Illiberal America: A Report Card

I never thought I would live to see the U.S. turn into the illiberal, authoritarian, populist, white-nationalist country it has already increasingly become in early 2019. Illiberalism Turns Liberal Democracy on its Head “Liberal democracy” is characterized in theory by … Continue reading

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The Chancellor’s Massmail on Free Speech Who Is It Talking About?

Returning from a meeting of the American Association of Universities (AAU), Chancellor Jones shared a joint statement that was crafted at the meeting in regard to free speech on campus. The statement starts out by saying that people whose views … Continue reading

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Janus v. AFSCME Council 31

By Dan Gilbert   Dan Gilbert teaches in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois. In a matter of weeks the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule in Janus v. American Federation of State, … Continue reading

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Anti-Union Rauner, Koch Brothers Aim at a Nation of Wisconsins

By Ricky Baldwin Ricky Baldwin is a longtime community and union organizer who lives in Urbana. Anticipating the Janus decision discussed elsewhere in this issue, Central Illinois Jobs With Justice (JWJ) held a public discussion on February 18 in the … Continue reading

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History Matters: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Fight for Economic Justice

By Stephanie Fortado Dr. Stephanie Seawell Fortado is a Lecturer at the University of Illinois Labor Education Program, providing workshops and extension programming for unions and the general public on the Champaign-Urbana campus and throughout Illinois. Before joining the University, … Continue reading

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The Real War in Egypt: the Labor Struggle

By Janice Jayes If you missed the exciting Presidential election news out of Egypt this past March, don’t be too hard on yourself: also missing it were 96 million Egyptians. Yes, a few Egyptians showed up at the polls for … Continue reading

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GloHeart, A Displaced Lullaby: A Play on Immigration Asks Questions About Language

By Al Schneider Al Schneider is a performance maker and theater researcher currently living in Urbana. Information about their work can be found here: alanddog.co.uk. What are they doing here? Dressed in plaid, blue jeans, a ball cap, and boots, … Continue reading

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History Matters: Remembering Two “Dangerous” Labor Union Women

By Stephanie Fortado Dr. Stephanie Seawell Fortado is a Lecturer at the University of Illinois Labor Education Program, providing workshops and extension programming for unions and the general public on the Champaign-Urbana campus and throughout Illinois. Before joining the University, … Continue reading

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Abused: Working Women Face Widespread Harassment and Violence

By Pat Simpson Pat Simpson, Emerita Professor, Loyola University, formerly taught in the Labor Education Program, UIUC. A longtime labor and social justice activist, she is  currently a member of the Chambana Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and of the … Continue reading

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