Tag: Labor

Collection: International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985)

Careful What You Wish For: A Critical Appraisal of Proposals to Rebuild the Labor Movement

Alarmed at declining union density and frustrated with the National Labor Relations Act, many worker advocates want to ditch the NLRA, forsake traditional unions, and start the labor movement afresh. But they should not let novelty overwhelm judgment. Many of these new ideas are clever in theory, but in practice...

Read more

Black Lives Matter: Toward a Modern Practice of Mass Struggle

Born as a Twitter hashtag, Black Lives Matter has evolved into a potent alternative to the political paralysis and isolation that racial justice proponents have faced since the election of Obama. In just over two years, the young movement has reinvigorated confrontation politics, giving voice to a popular and righteous rage, establishing a new touchstone of grassroots resistance...

Read more

Queers for Economic Justice

Queer Precarity and the Myth of Gay Affluence

The LGBT movement’s laser-focus on marriage equality propagates the myth of gay and lesbian affluence as political strategy, leaving aside any analysis of class or economic inequality or poverty—much less an analysis of capitalism. LGBT people are typically depicted as affluent consumers with high disposable incomes, yet this is hardly the norm. The majority of LGBT/Q people are poor or working class, female, and people of color, who struggle to get a job or hold onto one, to pay their rent and care for themselves and the people they love.

Read more

Engaging with Democrats

Disillusionment with Democrats is one of the oldest—and most familiar—sentiments of labor progressives. Sadly, the first twenty-one months of the Obama era haven't done much to alter those feelings. Without question, there has been progress on a number of critical issues—economic stimulus, health care reform, financial reform, key appointments at OSHA and the National Mediation Board (which oversees railway and airline labor relations)—which would have been unimaginable in a Republican presidency.

Read more

Taking Over The Enterprise: A New Strategy for Labor and the Left

Rick Wolff’s Opinion

We are overdue for a new strategy. Labor and the Left are at low points in long declines. One cause has been adherence to a failed strategy. We need to acknowledge that reality and answer two linked questions. First, what part of getting into this situation was our own doing? Second, what changes in labor’s and the Left’s strategy could revive the two groups and rebuild their coalition into a powerful political force? To answer the first question: labor’s and the Left’s strategic attitude toward capitalism undermined both partners and their coalition. To answer the second: changing their attitude toward capitalism could, I believe, revive them significantly in the near future. Read more