Articles from Working In These Times

Retail Means Jobs. But Those Jobs Shouldn’t Mean Poverty.

The National Retail Federation is fond of pointing out that “retail means jobs.” And it’s true: the retail industry today provides one in ten private-sector jobs in the U.S., a number set to grow in the next decade.  

Justice for South Asian Migrant Workers in the Gulf Requires a New Kind of Solidarity

Since 2006, migrant workers have launched a spate of labor actions and strikes in the UAE. These actions, combined with mounting evidence of the mistreatment and deaths of workers building the World Cup infrastructure in neighboring Qatar, has attracted global attention to the plight of the workforce on which the economic growth of the Gulf has been built.

Why Did Howard Dean Pretend Unions and Wall Street Are Similar in Power and Influence?

Howard Dean, former Vermont Governor, has long been considered a liberal stalwart. He opposed the Iraq war and has supported single-payer health care. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont also opposed the Iraq war and supports single-payer health care. So Dean’s endorsement of Secretary Hillary Clinton leaves some scratching their head: Clinton backed the Iraq war and her health care plan is not single-payer.

Brooklyn Sweet’N Low Workers Face Mass Layoffs To Make Way for Luxury Condos

This post first appeared at Labor Notes.

The workers who make Sweet’N Low started the new year with some bitter news. Their factory—in ever-gentrifying Brooklyn, New York—will shut down in the next few months, likely to make way for luxury condos.

“It was a complete blindside,” said Louis Mark Carotenuto, president of Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 2013. Since September the union had been in negotiations with family-owned Cumberland Packing for a new collective bargaining agreement.

This Bill Would Force Large Corporations To Pay a Fine if They Don’t Pay Workers a Living Wage

A group of Chicago-area progressive groups and unions are backing a bill that would punish large companies who don’t pay their workers a living wage.

The Responsible Business Act would charge corporations who employ more than 750 Cook County workers at less than $15 per hour fees for paying what advocates call poverty-level wages. Since it was introduced in October last year, the act has gained the support of unions and grassroots organizations fighting for economic justice.

Govt. Report: Even After 2013 Texas Fertilizer Explosion, Hundreds of Communities Still at Risk

Nearly three years after a catastrophic explosion and fire fueled by about 30 tons of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate ripped through the West Fertilizer plant in West, Texas—killing 15 people, including 12 first responders, and injuring more than 260 and causing extensive community damage—the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released and unanimously approved its final report on the incident. Presented