French strikes continue

By MARTY GOODMAN A showdown between capital and labor in France over the privatization of the national railroad will extend into the summer and possibly beyond. France’s nationalized railroad, SNCF, is a source of pride for most French people—and in particular, for rail workers, who recognize the landmark rights they’ve won by striking over many…

Hilton hotel workers won’t back down!

By ERNIE GOTTA Hospitality workers from Local 217 Unite Here are hitting the picket lines across Connecticut this summer in solidarity with their coworkers waging contract fights at hotels in Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford. At a time when most unions are making concessions to the bosses, Local 217 has drawn a line in the…

Where is Mexico heading with Lopez Obrador?

By LIGA DE UNIDAD SOCIALISTA, PARTIDO OBRERO SOCIALISTA, and LA GOTA Two days after the elections in which he had tied a sweeping victory with more than 50 percent of the total vote, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced that he will back the government of Enrique Peña Nieto during the transition period prior to the…

¿A dónde va México bajo AMLO?

Alegría desbordante por la derrota del PRI y el PAN y preocupación por la difícil situación que se avecina. Por LIGA DE UNIDAD SOCIALISTA, PARTIDO OBRERO SOCIALISTA, y LA GOTA Dos días después las elecciones en las cuales había amarrado un triunfo arrasador con más del 50 por ciento del total de la votación, Andrés…

Oregon water crisis: A product of climate change

By ANN MONTAGUE — SALEM, Ore. — People in Oregon are usually proud of their natural resources. All school children know that in 1966 Governor Tom McCall took on the real estate barons with public pressure behind him, and all Oregon beaches were legally declared public property with unfettered access for all. So those of…

Trump uses kids as bargaining chips as immigration fightback grows

By JOHN LESLIE On June 30, protesters defied dangerously hot temperatures and took to the streets in over 750 cities in the United States and abroad to protest Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies. The marches and rallies focused on his administration’s practice of separating immigrant families and imprisoning their children. Over 30,000 participated in the…

DSA member wins Democratic primary in New York

By STEVE XAVIER The results of the primary election result in New York’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, stunned the Democratic Party machine. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders campaign worker and member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), defeated 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley. Crowley, who out-spent Oscasio-Cortez…

Janus v. AFSCME and the future of unions

By ANN MONTAGUE  On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. That decision said that making non-union members pay for the union’s political activities violated the First Amendment, but that it was constitutional to require non-members to help pay for a union’s collective bargaining and…

What’s behind the anti-vaccine movement?

By ROBBIE MAHOOD Routine childhood vaccination is one of the cornerstones of modern public health. Evidence points to its major role in improving health by a dramatic reduction in the incidence of infectious diseases that formerly caused significant illness and death. Yet, as any nurse or physician delivering primary care can tell you, there is…

Husky refinery fire: No to hydrogen fluoride

By LUCAS ALAN DIETSCHE — SUPERIOR, Wis. — On April 26, around 10 a.m., on the same day as the anniversary of the explosion at Chernobyl, the Husky Refinery here exploded and caught fire. For nine hours, toxic fumes blew 30 miles to the south. Eleven workers were injured but soon recovered. Most of this…

No to Ottawa’s purchase of Trans-Mountain pipeline

By BARRY WEISLEDER and GARY PORTER Q: When should workers oppose nationalization of an industry? A: When it is a bail-out of a nature-destroying, Indigenous rights violating, ruthlessly greedy corporation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision on May 29 to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline is that, and much worse. While the Liberal federal government can’t come…

Duluth workers win safe and sick time ordinance

By ADAM RITSCHER — DULUTH, Minn. — On May 29, by a vote of 7 to 1, the Duluth City Council passed an “Earned Safe and Sick Time” ordinance. The new law mandates that all business owners in the city give their workers time off when they are sick and need time off for other…

Teacher strikes: New beginning for labor?

By JEFF MACKLER North Carolina teachers capped off two months of unprecedented national teacher militancy as they rallied 20,000 strong at the state capitol on May 16. During their one-day “sick leave” strike, the teachers closed down 40 local school districts with one million students. As with the previous five statewide teacher strikes in 2018,…

A reprieve for death-row prisoner Kevin Cooper?

By JEFF MACKLER Executions are scheduled at one minute after midnight at San Quentin Prison, just over the San Rafael Bridge in Marin County and overlooking the San Francisco skyline. On the cold winter night of Feb. 10, 2004, death-row inmate Kevin Cooper was being fully prepped for the hereafter, dressed in a new set…

General strike in South Africa

By MARTY GOODMAN Worsening poverty and attacks on organized labor by South Africa’s neo-liberal African National Congress (ANC) government have ignited a wave of working-class militancy, resulting in a general strike on April 25. The militant action targeted a planned minimum wage of just 20 rand ($1.60) an hour, calling it “slave labor” wages. It…

Kinder Morgan: Should Canadian taxpayers invest in a bailout?

By GARY PORTER On May 29, Canada’s federal government announced that it would purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline from the American corporation Kinder Morgan—despite opposition from environmentalists and Indigenous people. “The Trans Mountain expansion project is of vital interest to Canada and Canadians,” Bill Morneau, the finance minister, told reporters after a cabinet meeting to…

Argentina: Macri’s neoliberal fantasies

By CLAUDIO KATZ In the middle of his term, Argentinian president [Mauricio] Macri cannot hide the monumental abyss between his promises and reality. The promise was of an influx of dollars to lower inflation, with high growth, job creation, an entrepreneurial boom and eradication of social assistance. A drastic reduction of the fiscal deficit and…

Global debt hits $164 trillion

By BARRY WEISLEDER The world’s debt load has ballooned to a record $164 trillion, a trend that could make it harder for countries to cope with the next capitalist recession and pay off debts if financing conditions tighten, the International Monetary Fund said in April. Global public and private debt swelled to 225 per cent…

Buy one, get one free: On capitalist propaganda

By ANDY BARNS The more pervasive and unchallenged propaganda is, the more effective it becomes. As a salesman by trade, I handle a lot of promotional materials for the products we sell at my workplace (booklets and product samples). These range from decking, to fasteners, all the way to kitchen faucets. I have a front-row…