Category Archives: Labor/Economics

Privatization Comes to the Postal Service, Protest Comes to Champaign-Urbana

For the past few years you may have seen headlines about threats to close post offices and reductions in postal service and delivery hours. Now, the Post Office faces another threat—privatization. Over the past several months the US Postal Service … Continue reading

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US Labor Against the War

The level of violence in Iraq is rapidly escalating and the country is falling apart. There are calls for sending back US troops. Syria’s catastrophic civil war is being fueled by arms shipments from various directions. There are calls for … Continue reading

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A Faculty Union at UIUC Part 1

The UI Chicago faculty union signed its first contract in April 2014. In Urbana the Campus Faculty Association (CFA) submitted in mid-May the necessary number of cards to create a full-time non-tenure track (NTT) faculty union (part-time NTT’s are excluded … Continue reading

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Why Tenured Professors Need Unions

I once got stuck in an airplane sitting next to an off-duty pilot. As we sat on the runway for an hour, only to find that we had to change flight crews and pilots because of the long delay, a … Continue reading

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One of The Core Union Values is Solidarity!

Recently the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), the union for graduate student teaching assistants and research assistants at the University of Illinois, made a few changes to the union’s organizational structure. More specifically, the GEO added an elected Solidarity Officer to … Continue reading

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Hidden Costs of Drought and Floods

    Gregory McIsaac Climate models indicate that Midwestern US will likely experience warmer and more volatile weather in the future, with more intense rainfall and more frequent and severe droughts. Trends in this direction are already evident. The severe … Continue reading

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Protests at Walmart in Urbana and McDonald’s in Champaign

On this year’s Black Friday, November 29, 2013, local activists held a rally at the Walmart in Urbana that was organized by Central Illinois Jobs With Justice. They stood out in 30 degree weather holding signs as shoppers drove by, … Continue reading

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The Attack on Labor Rights as Collective Human Rights in Great Britain

This article is inspired by the book, Human Rights and Labor Solidarity: Trade Unions in the Global Economy. This text was written by a former undergraduate student of mine, Susan Kang, who is now a professor of political science at the … Continue reading

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Trivializing the Not-So-Trivial: the News-Gazette and Mr. Khan

In its editorial of April 23, the News-Gazette took members of the U of I Senate to task. These members had challenged the decision to award an honorary degree to Mr. Shahid Khan.  Mr. Khan, an engineering graduate of the … Continue reading

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SEIU Holds 3-Day Strike on U of I Campus

After 9 months of negotiating at UIUC, Building Service and Food Service Workers pulled off an enormously successful strike with 97 percent of the workforce walking off the job and 2/3 picketing over the three days. Garbage overflowed, food was … Continue reading

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Service Employees Fight Back at UIUC

“The … administration has followed a reverse policy of hiring incompetent leadership at the highest prices. If it were up to the university no hourly person would make much more than minimum wage. How are we going to support your … Continue reading

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The “Fiscal Cliff” is Classic Shock Doctrine

The “debt ceiling” and “fiscal cliff” scenarios are well choreographed dog-and-pony circus acts brought to you by the same people who crashed the economy in 2008, with the help of their bought-and-paid-for politicians from both the Democrat and Republican parties. … Continue reading

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Building a Solidarity Union

How do you build a solidarity-oriented union? Our Graduate Employees Organization has found that looking beyond the campus and using our voice, funds, and organizing skills to help community causes has made us one of the strongest locals in east-central … Continue reading

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Motivating High School Students to Become Future Builders

In 2007, I met Tanya Parker, now the publisher of the local magazine, Unity in Action, at a demonstration in front of the County Court House in Urbana.  We were both protesting what we felt was racial inequality in the … Continue reading

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Tax the Rich; Spend on the Material and Educational Needs of the Less Well-Off

Pat Simpson Pat Simpson is a labor educator who is active in Central Illinois Jobs with Justice As the old year drew to a close, the walls of the Channing Murray Foundation echoed with speeches on the topic of the … Continue reading

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Obama’s Economic Legacy Could Benefit from Falling Energy Prices

Energy prices have gone through boom and bust cycles in the past, and there is a possibility that current prices could decline as during in the 1980s, which fueled a rapid expansion of employment and GDP. Even though presidents have … Continue reading

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Moody’s Shows It Has Political Agenda for U.S. Fiscal Policy

By Mark Weisbrot This article was first published in The Guardian (UK) on September 13, 2012, www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/sept/13/moodys. If anyone wants to reprint it, please include a link to the original. Moody’s threat Wednesday to downgrade the U.S. government’s credit rating … Continue reading

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LEARN ABOUT THE INTERSECTION OF IMMIGRANT AND WORKER RIGHTS

Immigrant rights, worker rights―what’s the connection? The East Central Illinois Jobs with Justice (ECIJWJ) Chapter is hosting a multi-media presentation on the Coalition of Immokalee Workers that will address this question. Part of a month-long examination of the problems and … Continue reading

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Flex-n-Gate Disaster, Just the Latest Chapter in a Toxic Story

By Ricky Baldwin When news broke this summer that a toxic cloud of sulfuric acid at a local plant had sent eleven local workers to the hospital, horrific as the story was, many in the area were not all that … Continue reading

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My Experiences with Worker-Owned Businesses

Walter Matherly       (Bio–After six years working in Africa and Latin America for the International Division of The Borden Company in 1954, Walter Matherly got a graduate degree in Economics from Duke and began a career in economic … Continue reading

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