Working In These Times

Monday, Jan 22, 2018, 5:53 pm  ·  By Jon Queally

In 2017, 82% of New Wealth Went to the Top 1%—While the Poor Got Nothing

New report finds skyrocketing wealth growth among the already rich is coupled with stagnant wages and persistent poverty among the lowest economic rungs of society. (Maslowski Marcin / Shutterstock.com)  

This originally appeared on Common Dreams.

Call it the 'Year of the Billionaire.'

In 2017, a new billionaire was created every two days and while 82 percent of all wealth created went to the top 1 percent of the world's richest while zero percent—absolutely nothing—went to the poorest half of the global population.

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Friday, Jan 19, 2018, 3:34 pm  ·  By Economic Policy Institute

Here Are the 10 Worst Attacks on Workers From Trump’s First Year

Since taking office, President Trump has overseen a string of policies that will harm working people and benefit corporations and the rich. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)  

January 20th marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Since taking office, President Trump has overseen a string of policies that will harm working people and benefit corporations and the rich. Here we present a list of the 10 worst things Congress and Trump have done to undermine pay growth and erode working conditions for the nation’s workers. 

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Thursday, Jan 18, 2018, 5:40 pm  ·  By Barry Eidlin and Micah Uetricht

Defending Democracy Means Organizing Your Workplace

New York, 1948: Longshoremen in the Chelsea Dock area sit it out after refusing to obey shape-up whistle. The Wildcat Strike on the New York waterfront was a rejection of a 10-cent hourly wage increase which had been accepted by Union leaders. Joseph P. Ryan, President of the International Longshoremen's Association, blamed the walkout on the Taft-Hartley Law. (Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images)  

This article was first published in New Labor Forum.

Most Americans believe in the idea of democracy, however frustrated they may be by the gap between the promise and reality. Some would argue that the current US regime is closer to an oligarchy or plutocracy than a democracy, but all save for a small fringe would agree that the United States should be a democracy — that “the people” should rule. Likewise, most Americans have a strong sense of having certain democratic rights — freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, due process under the law, and freedom from unlawful search and seizure. While the ability to exercise these rights remains far too dependent on skin color, zip code, and bank account, the widespread sense of moral outrage when these rights are violated shows the extent to which people believe in them. 

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Thursday, Jan 18, 2018, 2:21 pm  ·  By Kari Lydersen

In a Landslide Vote, the LA Times Just Unionized, Upending a Long Anti-Labor History

The election at the LA Times comes on the heels of a recent spate of successful media union drives. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)  

Update: On Friday, January 19, the News Guild announced that Los Angeles Times journalists had voted overwhelmingly in favor of a union, 248-44. The victory will lead to the paper's first staff union, after 136 years in operation. Kristina Bui, Guild organizer and a copy editor at the LA Times, told the paper, “This was a long time coming, and we're all thrilled that this has finally happened. The newsroom has put up with so much disruption and mismanagement, and this vote just underscores how much of a say we need to have in the decision-making process. The newsroom is demanding a seat at the bargaining table."

Emily Alpert Reyes and Carolina Miranda are among the Los Angeles Times newsroom staff anxiously awaiting January 19, when they will find out whether the year-long campaign to organize their workplace has been a success.

Staff voted January 4 on whether to join the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America, and Miranda and Alpert Reyes—along with many News Guild organizers—believe that a majority of eligible employees voted for the union. An official count will occur after the January 18 deadline for mail-in ballots from employees in remote bureaus. 

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Thursday, Jan 18, 2018, 11:56 am  ·  By Michael Arria

Here’s How Trump’s Labor Department Quietly Gave Bosses Even More Power Over Their Workers

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump poses with labor leaders on January 23, 2017 in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)  

On January 5, the Department of Labor (DOL) quietly took a step to bolster the legal power of bosses over their workers by reissuing 17 previously withdrawn opinion letters. Developed at the end of George W. Bush’s final term, the letters had been withdrawn by the Obama administration, which discontinued the practice of issuing opinion letters altogether.

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Thursday, Jan 18, 2018, 11:54 am  ·  By Meaghan LaSala

The Trump Admin’s Approval of Medicaid Work Requirements Threatens the Lives of Poor People

Forcing poor Americans to work in order to receive healthcare benefits could gut Medicaid and have devastating effects for those who rely on the program. (Getty)  

Less than a month after the GOP passed its $1.5 trillion tax bill that will disproportionately benefit corporations and the super rich, the Trump administration opened the door to a policy that could gut Medicaid. New guidelines issued on January 11 will allow states to require recipients to work in order to receive healthcare benefits through the program.  ​  

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Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018, 10:45 am  ·  By Julianne Tveten

Tech Workers of the World, Unite!

Some white-collar tech workers, particularly programmers and engineers, are recognizing the need for change. (Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com)  

In just a handful of years, the tide of blue-collar organizing has risen in Silicon Valley. Security officers and shuttle drivers across tech firms, workers at Tesla’s Fremont manufacturing plant and cafeteria workers at Facebook and Yahoo, have united in pursuit of more equitable working conditions.

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Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018, 9:44 am  ·  By Shaun Richman

Republicans Are Taking Voter Suppression to the Workplace

Employees of Republic Windows and Doors factory occupy the main entrance to the factory December 9, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)  

A Republican party that survives through voter suppression may be replicating its model in the workplace. In December, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) invited public commentary on a possible revocation of a rule that makes employers provide union organizers with contact information for workers in advance of a representation election.

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Thursday, Jan 11, 2018, 6:29 pm  ·  By Ryan Harvey

Amid Freezing Classrooms, Baltimore’s Teachers Fight to Democratize City’s Schools

Baltimore residents sit in one of two overflow rooms at a Board of Education meeting last Tuesday where teachers and students protested the conditions of the city's schools. (Photo: Ryan Harvey/Rebel Lens Bmore)  

When a photograph of bundled-up students in a frigid Baltimore classroom recently spread on social media—with temperatures in schools as low as the mid-30s—the city became a focal point of public attention. But two organizations of Baltimore teachers say such situations, far from isolated, are the latest examples of why educators are pushing to radically democratize the city’s school system

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Thursday, Jan 11, 2018, 3:59 pm  ·  By Bryce Covert

Carrier Workers Are Livid After Facing Layoffs Despite Trump’s Promises

President-elect Donald Trump speaks to workers at Carrier air conditioning and heating on December 1, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)  

Even before he officially took office, President-elect Donald Trump flew to Indianapolis in December of 2016 to trumpet a deal he had reached with air conditioning and heating furnace manufacturer Carrier. In return for Trump’s pledge to reduce the corporate tax rate and reduce regulations, as well as $7 million in economic incentives, the company agreed to keep some jobs in the state rather than move them to a plant in Mexico as it had planned.

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