Category Archives: labor

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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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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