Fresh audio product: Italian politics, union finances

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): July 28, 2022 Paolo Gerbaudo on the failure of technocracy and the imminence of right-wing rule in Italy • Chris Bohner on the huge stash unions have but aren’t spending (report here, Jacobin summary here)

Quit rates, unions, politics

I’m not sure what this means, but quit rates are higher in states that voted for Trump, and are higher in states with low unionization rates. We’ve been hearing for some time now that quit rates are the highest on record. That’s true if you look only at the Job Openings and Labor Market Turnover Series (JOLTS) numbers, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started reporting in December 2000. It had an ancestor, which the BLS reported for manufacturing only, covering 1919 to 1981 (left portion of the graph below). Current… Read More

Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): February 17, 2022 Toronto-based activist and organizer John Clarke on the politics and personnel behind the Ottawa convoy • Dave Zirin on racism in the NFL (and Brian Flores’s lawsuit over it) • Justine Medina on working at Amazon and trying to unionize it

Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): February 3, 2022 Wanda Bertram of the Prison Policy Initiative on how prison sickens and kills people • Terry Kupers, from a 2013 interview, on the effects of solitary confinement on mental health • refinery worker and union VP BK White talks about worker safety and health at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California

No strike wave in 2021

There was a lot of enthusiastic talk about a wave of labor militancy last year—remember “Striketober”? With the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary data for December out—it will be slightly revised next month, but not by much—we can now look at the full year in historical perspective. It was a quiet year, even by recent standards. First, the number of “stoppages” involving 1,000 workers or more.* There were about half as many major strikes in 2021 as there were in 2018 (the year of the teachers’ strikes) and 2019 (which included… Read More

Striketober wasn’t

As marvelous as it would be to see a revival of labor militancy, people got a little ahead of things calling last month “Striketober.” According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stats, it was a blip by historical standards. Here’s a graph of the number of workers involved in strikes or lockouts (the BLS counts them together) since 2000. There were 57 months with higher numbers of workers off the job. At the high point of this graph, May 2018, there were over fourteen times as many workers on strike as there… Read More

Fresh audio product

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

Fresh audio product

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

Fresh audio product

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

Fresh audio product

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)

Fresh audio product

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)

Fresh audio product

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)

Fresh audio product

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

Fresh audio product

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