“Labor Day” Links: Rand Wilson, Steve Early, Jeannette Wicks-Lim

(1) Jeannette Wicks-Lim on the Real News Network.  Frequent D&S author and staff economist at the Political Economy Research Institute, Jeannette Wicks-Lim, in an interview back in 2009 about the coming low-wage future. The email today from TRNN linking to the piece was entitled “Labor Day: The Less-Radical Alternative to May Day.” I consider this witty understatement. If you do a Google Images search for “Labor Day” (or click this link) you get lots of American flag waving, and the slogan: “Labor Day: Celebrating the Achievements of America’s Workforce.”

(2) Rand Wilson on “Just Cause” and Job Insecurity.  The first article we’re posting from our Annual Labor Issue (we are still in layout).  Rand argues that far from being obsolete (as the New York Times recently claimed), teacher tenure is the kind of policy that should be extended to all workers, as it is in other industrialized countries (vs. workers being “at will”).

(3) Steve Early in Counterpunch.  This piece by our pal Steve, “Organizing the Organized,” pairs nicely with Rand’s.  With more states becoming “right-to-work” states and given the recent Harris v. Quinn ruling (which Rand also talks about), it’s becoming more important than ever to have unions where workers are not just “organized” (in the sense of being union members) but actually organized, in the sense of being engaged and politically activated, whether or not they are in collective bargaining units.

(4) Steven Greenhouse, More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’From today’s New York Times; hat-tip to TM.  Good piece; the comments section is especially heartening–90% or more of the comments condemn wage theft, many with personal anecdotes. The dissenters look ridiculous.

That’s it for now.

–Chris Sturr 

May Day links



(1) The Maypole’s Revolutionary Heritage:  Seems like I’m always reading May Day pieces that carefully distinguish May Day the spring festival with maypoles, etc., from May Day the international workers’ day, or May Day as labor day vs. Labor Day in September.  But this piece in Counterpunch by Bernard Marszalek delightfully celebrates the revolutionary heritage of the maypole itself.

(2) Why Aren’t North American Workers More Militant?  Paul Jay of the Real News Network interviews Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Sam Ginden, here.

(3) Ron Baiman’s May Day Manifesto:  From 2012, but Ron (from Chicago Political Economy Group) sent it around again this year:  pdf of it here.

(4) The Era of Financialization, Pts. 3 and 4:  Not directly May Day-related, but we just posted the third and final parts of our interview with Costas Lapavitsas about the Era of Financialization, here.

That’s it for now–Happy May Day!

–Chris Sturr