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Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): June 24, 2021 Sam Gindin, author of this review, on competition, labor, and solidarity • Leslie London, director of the Observatory Civic Association, on the fight against Amazon in Cape Town, South Africa • Tana Ganeva, author of this article, on the prevalence and horrors of solitary confinement

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Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): April 15, 2021 Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht, authors of Bigger than Bernie, just out in paperback, on the legacy of the Sanders campaigns • Jane McAlevey, author and organizer, on why the union lost to Amazon in Alabama (Nation article here)

Strikes plumb the depths

Although there have been plenty of reports of rising labor militancy in the US—teachers’ strikes, tech and delivery app organizing—it’s sadly not showing up in the strike data. In its annual release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there were just 7 major “work stoppages” (which include lockouts as well as strikes) in 2020, tied with 2017 for the second-lowest number since 1947, and beaten only by 2009’s 5. What strike action there was, says the BLS, was mainly against state and local government employers (5 of them), not private… Read More

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Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): January 7, 2021 Vijoo Krishnan on the Indian farmer strikes • Yannet Lathrop, author of this report, on state and local minimum wage increases • Alex Peterson on the Alphabet Workers Union

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Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): June 4, 2020 Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing, on why cops are being so brutal and what should be done with them • Ben Tarnoff, co-founder of Logic magazine, on tech worker organizing (essay here)

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Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): March 5, 2020 Andrew Bacevich, historian and president of the Quincy Institute, on the history and structure of the US permanent war mobilization (Harper’s article, The Age of Illusions) • Chris Brooks on the UAW bribery/embezzlement scandal (articles: ITT, Intercept)

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Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): July 19, 2018 Rebecca Gordon explains why Nicaraguans are protesting the Ortega government (article here) • Alex Gourevitch on how the workplace is authoritarian, and why strikes are essential (article here)

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Just posted to my radio archive (click on date for link): July 5, 2018 Chris Maisano, author of this article, on the effect of the Supreme Court’s Janus decision on public employee unions • Forrest Hylton, co-author of this article, on Colombian politics after the June presidential election

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Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): March 22, 2018 Jennifer Berkshire, host of Have You Heard?, on teachers’ strikes, WV and beyond • Stan Collender on fiscal follies in DC

Smaller strikes also in decline

Several readers responded to the recent post on strikes by asking if the BLS stats, which cover stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers, are missing smaller-scale actions. (And I should say that I’m being imprecise by calling all stoppages “strikes,” since the figures also include lockouts.) Alas, no. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service publishes data on all work stoppages, regardless of the number of workers involved. The numbers from 1984 through 2016 are graphed below. Smaller strikes peaked at 1,142 in 1985, which looks big by recent standards. If the trajectory… Read More

The disappearing strike

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released this morning, last year saw the second-smallest number of major strikes in recorded history: seven. This is close to the record low set in 2009, five—in the depths of the Great Recession, when the unemployment rate was approaching 10%. Last year’s average unemployment rate was less than half that, 4.3%. Here’s the grim history of the decline of labor’s most powerful weapon in two graphs: The number of days of “idleness”—a curiously moralizing word for an instrument of class struggle—wasn’t as close to a… Read More

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Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): December 7, 2017 Jane McAlevey on power, strange alliances, and serious threats to workers • Jane McAlevey and Liza Featherstone on sexual harassment, capitalism, and power

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Just added to my radio archive: May 25, 2017 James Whitman, author of Hitler’s American Model, on the U.S. origins of Nazi race law • Alex Gourevitch, contributor to this Boston Review roundtable, on strikes and their challenge to bourgeois law

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Just posted to my radio archive: March 30, 2017 Jodi Dean on why the temptations of populism should be resisted • Jane McAlevey, author of No Shortcuts, on real organizing, not fake organizing

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Just added to my radio archive: January 21, 2016 Adolph Reed on reparations to black Americans (a reaction to this Ta-Nehisi Coates piece; Reed’s 2000 piece on reparations is here) •  Steffie Woolhandler of Physicians for a National Health Program on single-payer, Sanders, and Clinton Inc.’s lies January 14, 2016 Isabel Hilton on the Chinese financial melodrama • Chris Maisano (author of this article) on legal challenges to public sector unions January 7, 2016 Jason Williams reports from Oregon on the rancher occupation • Toby Jones on Saudi Arabia