29 Jan 2014

Coal Spill Puts Spotlight on Colombia’s Labor and Environmental Struggles

Originally published at In These Times The Alabama-based Drummond Company’s recent coal spill in Colombia has combined with its record of labor abuse to place the coal giant at the intersection of the country’s political struggles and environmental crises. In 2007, Colombia issued a mandate for coal exporters requiring Drummond Company to

25 Jan 2014

Capitalists for a Higher Minimum Wage

Originally published at In These Times A Silicon Valley multimillionaire and conservative pundit wants to give his state’s poorest workers a raise. Huh? Entrepreneur Ron Unz, known for his reactionary views on immigration (along with controversial commentary on race, crime, IQ and social policy), is campaigning for a state ballot measure to lift California’s

21 Jan 2014

New York’s All-Day Pre-K Plan: Good News for Teachers?

Originally published at In These Times Following a national trend of opening public schools to children younger than 5, New York’s newmayor, Bill de Blasio, plans to provide universal access to all-day pre-kindergarten, funded by an income tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers. Expanding pre-K services to all eligible 4-year-olds in

16 Jan 2014

Despite Violence, Cambodian Workers Vow To Continue Their Fight

Originally published at In These Times Though Cambodia’s days of colonialization, war and genocide may be over, the country is still wrestling with political turmoil. At the start of the new year, when workers massed in Phnom Penh to demand a fair minimum wage, the government responded with a spray

08 Jan 2014

Dignitary’s Maid Reveals Indignities of Domestic Work

Originally published at In These Times A certain romance colors our image of the house servant of yore. In fare from Downton Abbeyto Hollywood’s The Butler, they’re depicted as spectacles of starched traditionalism, deference and obsessive manners, even as they navigate unspoken class and racial faultlines. Though household labor has evolved from its rigid historical forms, a

05 Jan 2014

Angry Workers Swarm Seoul’s Streets, Demand President Resign

Originally published at In These Times South Korea may best be known for slick electronics and saccharine pop tunes, but less of that stereotypical effervescence was present in Seoul in December. Instead, the streets were filled with throngs of angry union workers, facing down riot police in a show of

04 Jan 2014

The U.S. Government Uses Sweatshops, Too

Originally published at In These Times The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Bangladesh last April exposed the cruel link between abusive Global South factories and the Western brands they supply. But while consumers may have been shocked to learn of the Gap or Benetton‘s latest designs strewn amid the wreckage

23 Dec 2013

Advice for Young Women: Get a Union Job

Originally published at In These Times Back in the days before modern feminism, a young woman looking for work might typically be advised, politely, to “learn a trade,” with the implication that she wasn’t bound for college or an elite career, but a humbler job as, say, a secretary or

20 Dec 2013

National Paid Family Leave May Finally Be on the Horizon

  Originally published at In These Times Any working parent will tell you that raising a family might as well be another full-time job—one that comes with no vacation days or health benefits. But millions of Americans don’t get days off from their regular job, either, even for the sake

14 Dec 2013

Teachers Seek to ‘Reclaim’ Education

Originally published at In These Times After years of being backed into a corner, on Monday public-school teachers stood up in defiance against what they see as their chief bully—budget-slashing school reforms that have made school more stressful and less fulfilling for both them and their students. Under the banner