Articles from Working In These Times

The Prison Strike is the Modern-Day American Slave Rebellion

On August 21, 1971, George Jackson was shot down during an attempted escape from San Quentin State Prison. Jackson, who had authored the highly-regarded prison memoir Soledad Brother the year before, co-founded the Black Guerilla Family and quickly emerged as one of the leading voices for black liberation in the early days of the black power movement. A mere two weeks later, on the opposite end of the country, Attica prison in New York became the site of the nation's most deadly prison uprising.

What Spurred a 98% Strike Vote by LA Teachers? Plutocrats Pushing Charter Schools

Public school teachers in Los Angeles voted overwhelmingly in late August to authorize a strike over stalled contract negotiations, but the issues really energizing the union membership go far beyond a new contract. Instead, say union leaders and rank-and-file members, the teachers are growing increasingly alarmed at a small clique of billionaires that has won considerable sway over the L.A. school board and is aggressively promoting charter schools as a replacement for public education.

Why the Left Should Embrace Debt Forgiveness

Barring a major upset in November, proud democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be heading to Congress in January. Breaking with many Democrats’ cautious triangulation, she ran on an unabashedly progressive platform which included Medicare-for-all, a federal jobs guarantee, the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and housing as a human right. Yet the critical demand for a universal debt jubilee is missing from her slate—and is generally being left out of progressive policy discussions.

The Fight Against Racism Starts in the Union

“In your union or workplace, what’s a situation where you’ve observed or experienced racism?” That’s the first question we ask people to discuss, in groups of three, as part of a Race and Labor training that our state labor council has offered for 29 local unions and labor councils so far in Washington state.

In a Historic Move, Los Angeles Educators Vote To Strike

Today teachers and education workers in Los Angeles, the second largest school district in the country (after New York), voted 98 percent to 2 percent to authorize their first strike in nearly 30 years.

These Faculty Organizing Victories Show Labor Doesn’t Need the Courts On Its Side

At the University of Iowa and Fordham University, two new faculty unions recently won key victories by adopting unconventional strategies adapted from service-sector organizing. In contract negotiations for the academic year, contingent faculty at both schools, organizing with SEIU Faculty Forward, mounted high-profile campaigns that pushed administrators to the negotiation table despite opposition to union certification.

Low Wages And No Stability: How Amazon’s Use of Perma-Temps Is Hurting Workers

Every day at 4:30 a.m., Dwayne Wilson, 25, wakes up to find out whether he’s going to be needed as a forklift driver at the warehouse he works at in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilmington. Sometimes he gets a call telling him not to come in. Sometimes he goes in to find out that he’s not needed that day. On average, he works just three eight-hour days per week, at $15 per hour.