Category Archives: labor

Coalition of Labor Union Women for Champaign County

On the evening of March 27 more than 30 people representing about a dozen labor unions and community groups gathered at the Plumbers Local 149 Union Hall in Savoy to launch a chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women … Continue reading

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May/June Issue Back Cover

HAPPY MAY 1 FROM THE PUBLIC I!  89 total views

 89 total views

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Who is Un-American?

This article, commissioned for the Public i, appeared first in a longer version in Monthly Review on November 29, 2023, under the title “Gender, Labor, Democracy, and Americanism: U.S. History in the (Un)Making”; reprinted with permission. In the early hours of Monday, May 15, … Continue reading

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For whom does the bell toll? These days it tolls for our children, gunned down in our streets and schools because of gun violence. And as if this were not enough, there are the child laborers among us and the … Continue reading

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UIUC GEO Wins a Progressive Contract

Graduate workers across the US have been hard-hit by the skyrocketing inflation induced by federal mismanagement of monetary policy that is being felt by all too many working-class people. The laughable wage increases that were “handed” to many low-paid workers … Continue reading

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Faculty and Staff Strike at Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University University Professionals of Illinois (EIU UPI, IFT Local 4100) members went on strike on April 6, after more than a year of fruitless bargaining, which forced faculty and staff to work without a contract since September, 2022. … Continue reading

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Growing Up “Unlucky”: Putting a Human Face on Bureau of Labor Statistics

Numerous options for employment abound in our small metropolitan area nestled amid the farmland of eastern central Illinois. From warehouses to food establishments to car repair shops, job seekers have many a choice for offering their time and effort. Yet, … Continue reading

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Graduate Employees Go Wild—For Unionization

Workers are on the move across America. Strikes rose by an astounding 50 percent between 2021 and 2022, and the pace of organization was equally impressive, with new fields of organizing opening in the service sector, the art world, and … Continue reading

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GEO at UIUC 10 Months into Contract Negotiations

As I write this, the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) Local 6300 is 10 months into the contract negotiating process with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign administration. So far there have been 19 bargaining sessions. The GEO presented its proposal … Continue reading

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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  651 total views

 651 total views

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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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