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text The Time Has Come For $15 Minimum Wage Mark Vorpahl 2013-11-11 9:04 AM
In one of comedian Chris Rock’s routines, he observes: “You know what that means when someone pays you a minimum wage? You know what your boss is trying to say? ‘Hey, if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.’” (text/html)

text At the AFL-CIO Convention, Leaders Ask: What Direction for Labor? Mark Vorpahl 2013-09-12 12:23 PM
The acknowledgment of Labor’s existential crisis and the recognition that something must be done to resolve it is the key issue at the AFL-CIO’s four-day quadrennial convention in Los Angeles. The urgency of the situation has compelled Labor’s top officials to experiment in a search for solutions. (text/html)

text What Can We Learn from 25 Years of Jobs with Justice? Mark Vorpahl 2013-09-06 8:35 AM
It’s no secret that the last 30 years have seen a brutal corporate assault on U.S. workers. Incomes and union membership rates have plummeted, unemployment is soaring, and the two corporate parties have joined forces to go after our previously untouchable historic gains. (text/html)

text Why Mass Marches Still Matter: 2013’s March on Washington Mark Vorpahl 2013-08-27 5:48 AM
In terms of the numbers it attracted, the August 24, 2013 March on Washington was an inspiring success. The question remains, however, how politically effective was it? (text/html)

text The August 24 March on Washington: Why We Need a New Civil Rights and Labor Movement Mark Vorpahl 2013-08-09 7:05 AM
It could have been left as a relatively small event that would make little impact, but plans for the 50th anniversary of 1963′s March on Washington appear to have taken another course. (text/html)

text Quantitative Crisis: Bernanke’s “Stimulus” For The 1% Mark Vorpahl 2013-06-01 6:29 AM
When I heard that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress last week that it was too soon for the Fed to end its extraordinary stimulus programs, I did a double take. (text/html)

text Opposition Grows Fierce to Austerity Cuts in Portland Mark Vorpahl 2013-04-19 11:46 AM
On April 11 over 400 people packed the third public Portland Budget Hearing, which was organized by the City of Portland and which left many spilling out beyond the room where the hearing took place. More importantly, for the City Council there was an unexpected critical outpouring from the vast majority who attended. For the first time, the City Council and Mayor Charlie Hales began to lose control over their attempts to sell austerity. (text/html)

text Detroit Citizen’s Prepare to Fight Their Corporate Master Mark Vorpahl 2013-03-20 8:18 AM
Fresh from shoving his “Right to Work for Less” legislation down the throats of Michigan’s workers, Governor Rick Snyder has grown bolder in pursuing a corporate agenda. He has now appointed Kevyn Orr of Jones Day law firm to act as an Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) of Detroit. (text/html)

text Why Organized Labor Must Stand Against the Keystone XL Pipeline Mark Vorpahl 2013-02-12 12:17 PM
Spurred by real urgency over the corporate driven ruin of the environment, a growing social movement is taking shape that will be on display this Sunday, February 17, when tens of thousands descend on the streets of Washington, D.C. in a show of power titled “Forward On Climate.” (text/html)

text The Argument for Amnesty: An Immigration Policy That Works for All Mark Vorpahl 2013-02-06 9:53 PM
Millions experience the repressive nature of the U.S. immigration system on a daily basis, lifting its need for reform to a level of urgency. And fixing this broken program is integral to building the unity among U.S. workers that is required to challenge corporate America’s attacks on our wages, rights, public social services, and living conditions. (text/html)

text Is The “Democracy Initiative” What We Need? Mark Vorpahl 2013-01-25 1:00 AM
Last December, at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington, D.C., leaders from a variety of progressive organizations such as Greenpeace, the NAACP and the Communication Workers of America met with the intention of beginning a national campaign to, in the words of Mother Jones reporter Andy Kroll, “remake American politics.” (text/html)

text Longshore Struggle Brews on Both Coasts, Part 2 Mark Vorpahl 2013-01-13 7:07 AM
In the Northwest, at the terminals on the Columbia River, Puget Sound, and Portland, Oregon, the membership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are on the defensive against the Northwest Grain Handlers Association (NWGHA). The conflict involves nearly 3,000 workers at terminals that handle a quarter of the nation’s grain exports. (text/html)

text Longshore Struggle Brews on Both Coasts Mark Vorpahl 2013-01-09 12:36 AM
Part I - It’s a familiar pattern: those on top of the economic ladder enjoy massive profits, while expecting workers to sacrifice even more for the “greater good.” (text/html)

text Egypt’s Revolution Stumbles Mark Vorpahl 2012-12-25 4:21 AM
The call for a new constitution was a key political demand of the Egyptian people when they overthrew the thirty-year dictatorship of Mubarak. Motivating this was the desire to begin dismantling the repressive bureaucratic state machinery they had suffered under and replace it with a democratic government that would be guided by their needs and hopes. Such aspirations served to unite the divergent forces that made Egypt’s political revolution and encourage their grassroots organizing efforts. (text/html)

text Defeating “Right to Work” Mark Vorpahl 2012-12-16 5:46 AM
The passage in Michigan of the anti-worker legislation grotesquely misnamed “Right to Work” (RTW) should be putting the entire nation on red alert. The downward pressure on the standard of living such bills unleash on the vast majority extend well beyond the union ranks. The bill’s success in Michigan, a pivotal state for organized Labor, indicates the unfolding of a national campaign by RTW’s backers. (text/html)

text Austerity — the 1%’s Global Battle Cry Mark Vorpahl 2012-11-29 2:00 PM
Whether we are left with the Fiscal Cliff or a Grand Bargain, workers in the U.S. face massive cuts to programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment insurance, Food Stamp assistance and other needed social safety nets. This is an example of “austerity” which has largely been pursued in the U.S. until now, on a statewide and local level. (text/html)

text Union Loss in Bend, Oregon Mark Vorpahl 2012-11-08 5:45 AM
The game is rigged, but not the fight. (text/html)

text Michigan’s Proposal 2: Labor’s Big Test Mark Vorpahl 2012-10-28 6:14 AM
For some time now, Labor has been punched into a corner when it comes to state legislation. Over the last two years legislation has been passed in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan that has attempted to gut largely public workers of their union rights. (text/plain)

text Workers Stand Up to Walmart Mark Vorpahl 2012-10-17 5:34 AM
When a torrent hits an obstacle that refuses to give, it either flows around or over the obstruction. When workers’ needs for a living wage, fair treatment, and a voice are damned up by an oppressive employer, it is only a matter of time before they find a way of asserting their strength. (text/plain)

text Why Chavez Won BIG! A Comparison Between the Presidential Elections in the U.S. and Venezu Mark Vorpahl 2012-10-09 5:33 AM
U.S. workers and those who are unemployed are frequently told that the current presidential elections are among the most important in this country’s history. With continuing high unemployment and underemployment, declining wages, and looming massive cuts to social programs that help workers, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, we are at a grave point regarding the direction of this country. However, the policies of both presidential candidates and their parties have perpetuated the devastating effects of the Great Recession for workers. Wall Street, the banks, the corporations, and the wealthy have been the beneficiaries of these policies while the only thing workers have received has been more sacrifices. (text/plain)

text The Dark Heart of the Libor Scandal Mark Vorpahl 2012-08-06 4:18 PM
Though, for most, the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate (Libor) interest rate fixing scandal appears to be distant and far too complex to understand, its potential consequences may be as economically devastating as a world war. (text/plain)

text Houston Janitors Strike for Economic Justice Mark Vorpahl 2012-07-27 2:01 PM
Echoing the story of David vs. Goliath, janitors in Houston are on strike and taking on such corporate giants as JPMorganChase and Exxon Mobile in an effort to pressure the janitorial companies they employ to agree to the workers' modest demands. It is these big business behemoths that are the real powers behind cleaning contractors such as ABM, GCA, ISS etc. By striking against these contractors, and publicly targeting these contractors' employers, the janitors are using their collective power in a showdown that has great significance for not only the Labor Movement but all workers. (text/plain)

text Pensions Under Attack Mark Vorpahl 2012-07-19 1:16 AM
On Friday, July 6, President Obama signed into law a bill that would renew transportation programs and extend low interest rates on student loans for one year. While this minimal gesture resulted in, no doubt, sighs of relief from those burdened by student debt, tucked away within the bill's pages was a little-noticed proposal to further erode the funding of workers' pensions. The bill was a brilliant sleight of hand where what it appeared to be giving with one hand distracted the public from what it was taking away with the other. (text/plain)

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