In the press, debates over affirmative action in higher education pit liberals (who support taking race into account in admissions) and conservatives (who oppose it). But there is a third way on the issue—affirmative action based on class, rather than race—which is far more progressive than our current system of racial preferences, the class-based approach is quickly gaining ground.
From the Editorial Team
Under the Radar
By Sarah Jaffe
Unreported and under-reported news and views that matter.
On the Contrary
(FREE) Impossible Unity: Adjuncts and Tenure-Track Faculty (FREE)
By Ivan Greenberg
(FREE) Solidarity: An Argument for Faculty Unity (FREE)
Max Page & Eve S. Weinbaum, and Ivan Greenberg
The Mounting Guerilla War against the Reign of Walmart
By John Logan
Why and how has the long battle at Walmart begun to gather steam?
Immigration Reform: Corporate Demands Trump Human Rights
By Michelle Chen
What does the current round of immigration reform say about the alignment of diverse stakeholders?
The Golden Dawn: The Financial Crisis and Greek Fascism’s New Day
By Nicholas Toloudis
Why did a fascist party benefit so dramatically from the meltdown in Greece?
The Disaster Inside the Disaster: Hurricane Sandy and Post-Crisis Redevelopment
By Miriam Greenberg
How uneven redevelopment has transformed the post-disaster city in the U.S.
The UAW’s Do-or-Die Battle in Canton
By Joseph B. Atkins
Can the UAW crack foreign-owned auto in the Sunbelt?
Looking Back at the Labor Party: An Interview with Mark Dudzic
By Derek Seidman & Adolph Reed Response
Why Teachers’ Unions Make Such Useful Scapegoats
By Rebecca Kolins Givan
Why does public vitriol against teachers’ unions far exceed that leveled against nurses’ unions, for example?
The Precariat a Bit Less Precarious in Mumbai
By Madhumanti Sardar
How precarious workers won big at India’s largest privately-owned electrical supplier.
Working-Class Voices in Contemporary America
Calling All Carwasheros
By Patricio Santiago and Sebastian Sanchez
Coal Miners and the Green Agenda
By Robert Pollin
Roots of Rebellion
A guide to insurgencies from coast to coast.
Community Organizing for the Long Haul: An Interview with Amy Schur
By Peter Dreier
Organized Money: What Is Corporate America Thinking?
The Affordable Care Attack
By Max Fraser
Books and the Arts
It’s Good to Be King: The Crisis Documentary and the American Dreamscape
Heist: Who Stole the American Dream Directed by Donald Goldmacher and Frances Causey
You’ve Been Trumped Directed by Anthony Baxter
The Queen of Versailles Directed by Lauren Greenfield
Reviewed by Jeremy Varon
Local Power Dynamics and the Enforcement of Immigrant Worker Rights
Conflicting Commitments: The Politics of Enforcing Immigrant Worker Rights in San Jose and HoustonBy Shannon Gleeson
Reviewed by Kati L. Griffith
Washington State Mayworks and Cultural Organizing
By Lynne Dodson and Sarah Laslett
Lessons of Lettuce Picking and 1970s Workplace Organizing
Lettuce Wars: Ten Years of Work and Struggle in the Fields of California By Bruce Neuburger
Reviewed by Steve Early
Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
By Matt Witt
Letter to the Editors
n 2005, an estimated 42.6 million Americans (about 31 percent of the U.S. workforce) toiled as contingent workers outside full-time, regular year-round employment. And the problem is getting worse. By 2020, more than 40 percent may work under insecure conditions: underpaid and without job protection as well as lacking many benefits such as health insurance, pensions, and vacations with pay. Unionizing this large segment of the workforce has proved difficult. Only about 6 percent of part-time employees are union members, compared to 12.5 percent for full-timers.
As in many industries and professions, stable and coveted careers in higher education have transformed into contingent, low-paid jobs. As tenured full professors retired, they were replaced with adjuncts, part-time instructors, full-time non-tenure-system faculty, and other “contract” faculty. The shift was rapid and dramatic: from 1975 to 2010 part-time faculty increased by 300 percent, and the full-time tenure-track professoriate lost more than half its members.