24 May 2013

A Budget That Tightens Belts by Emptying Stomachs

Originally posted at In These Times. A time-honored tactic of conservative lawmakers is to “starve the beast”by defunding government programs. In the case of food stamps—the quintessential whipping boy for budget hawks—they’re going a step further by trying to starve actual people. The House of Representatives and Senate have proposed the

21 May 2013

Farmworkers Fight Wendy’s, the ‘Last Holdout’ on Fair Food

Originally posted at In These Times. While rain pattered gently on the concrete steps of Manhattan’s Union Square last Saturday, a group of workers were giving the assembled crowd a tour of the sun-scorched fields of Florida’s tomato farms. The performers had turned the urban square into a stage for

16 May 2013

A More Democratic Foxconn? No One Told the Workers

Originally posted at In These Times With a workforce of more than one million, the electronics giant Foxconn has enough workers in its Chinese factories to fill a small country. So it’s fitting that the company has vowed to make its manufacturing kingdom a bit more democratic by encouraging union elections. But although the company announced its

11 May 2013

As Death Toll in Bangladesh Collapse Climbs Past 1,000, Another Factory Fire Claims 8 Lives

Originally posted at In These Times Bodies continue to pile up at Rana Plaza, once a powerhouse of Bangladesh’s garment industry, where more than 1,000 corpses have been unearthed since a factory collapse two weeks ago (and today, another survivor was discovered). Meanwhile, yet another disaster, a May 8 fire at

03 May 2013

That Unemployment Form Might Violate Your Civil Rights

Originally posted at In These Times If you think being jobless is tough, try applying for unemployment benefits. In Florida, simply filling out the form requires considerable talent and endurance. According to a recent ruling by the federal Department of Labor, the state’s new online application process is so fraught

28 Apr 2013

Farmworkers Dig Into the New ‘Blue Card’ Plan

Originally posted at In These Times Last week, immigrants’ rights groups finally got the papers they’ve been waiting for, an 844-page whopper of a bill that attempts to “fix” the immigration system by promising a little bit to everyone: businesses get workers, workers get jobs and millions of undocumented people

26 Apr 2013

Factory Collapse in Bangladesh Shows Cracks in the System

Originally posted at In These Times. There are few ways to make a decent living in Bangladesh, but there are many ways to die trying. The cruel weight of that reality bore down on a Dhaka factory complex on Wednesday as it crashed to the ground and instantly extinguished hundreds

21 Apr 2013

Bangladeshi Activists Bring Fight to Wal-Mart’s Doorstep

Originally posted at In These Times Wal-Mart’s business model runs on the art of delusion. Clean aisles and bright decor insulate customers from the unseemly factories that produce the brand’s sought-after bargains. But when Wal-Mart’s label was found plastered all over the charred remains of a massive factory fire in Bangladesh last

19 Apr 2013

Cutting the Budget, Bleeding Us Dry

Originally posted at In These Times If you feel like that recovery we keep hearing about hasn’t quite trickled down to your block, there’s a good reason. A huge swath of the country’s workers are out of sync with the economic cycle, continually falling further behind the rich. And, now

16 Apr 2013

Domestic Workers Sow a New Global Movement

Originally posted at In These Times In Argentina and Brazil, a sector of workers that has long labored invisibly is moving out of the shadows and gaining legal protections. Their counterparts in Jamaica and Uruguay are sparking a new political consciousness from the friction between tradition and globalization. Around the