The successful UAW strike was the latest sign that the union movement is having a moment. Amid so much gloom in the world, US labor has emerged as an unlikely bright spot with genuine dynamism.
Paul Prescod is a Jacobin contributing editor.
In the early 1900s, Ford Motor Company commanded strong loyalty from Detroit’s black workers. But the United Auto Workers broke Ford’s stranglehold through patient organizing, cementing an alliance that would bear fruit for decades.
Laphonza Butler, who was just sworn in to fill Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat, originally hailed from the labor movement. But her career has taken a sharp pro-corporate turn, including a stint acting on behalf of Uber against gig workers in California.
Shawn Fain, the firebrand president of the UAW, is modeling exactly the kind of labor leader we need right now: one who boldly names the billionaire class as the enemy — and galvanizes workers themselves to fight back.
By attacking the United Auto Workers and mischaracterizing the stakes of the union’s contract campaign and strike, self-styled populist Donald Trump is standing with the corporate elite against workers.
Sixty years ago today, hundreds of thousands gathered at the Washington Mall, where they heard Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Since then, we’ve beaten a retreat from the march’s vision of racial and economic justice.
Ron DeSantis’s new economic plan promises to stand up to the ruling class and big corporations, echoing the “pro-worker” rhetoric bubbling up from some segments of the Right. But their mega-rich donors aren’t buying the act, and neither should you.
While it’s always refreshing to see the lives of working people centered in our media, the docuseries Working: What We Do All Day is hampered by the limitations of its host and narrator, former president Barack Obama.
The United Auto Workers is refusing to endorse Joe Biden until he commits to backing an electric vehicle transition that creates good union jobs. The union’s new reform leadership is absolutely right to hold Biden’s feet to the fire.
It’s fashionable to say that black veterans got no real benefits from the GI Bill. In truth, for many, the GI Bill was a rare positive experience with government that contrasted sharply with the indignities of Jim Crow.
The National Football League Players Association just released team report cards. From petty payroll deductions to rat infestations, conditions for NFL players are surprisingly bad — an indictment on the greed and incompetence of billionaire team owners.
Marcus Garvey rose to prominence during a moment of deep pessimism for African American politics. His brand of racial uplift and black entrepreneurialism accommodated itself to Jim Crow and colonialism but fell out of favor as radical alternatives emerged.
The transition to electric vehicles is mandatory to address climate change. But if done haphazardly, it could result in massive job losses. Bold industrial policy and a rejuvenated United Auto Workers union can make electric vehicles a win for workers.
No matter how well black West Indies cricketers played before 1960, they never made captain. When the political winds changed, Trinidadian Marxist intellectual C. L. R. James threw himself into the campaign to transform both the sport and popular consciousness.
Voters in Massachusetts just ratified the Fair Share Amendment, which taxes income above $1 million to fund public services. A broad coalition of labor and community groups took on billionaire money and won.
The nation has watched as a labor dispute between railworkers and carriers escalated, prompting federal government intervention. The unions and bosses have a tentative agreement, but whether it’s strong enough for union members to ratify remains to be seen.
Dubbed “the Negro Eugene Debs,” Frank Crosswaith was one of the great socialists of the early to mid-20th century. And his message was unwavering: only a vigorous labor movement and democratic socialist policies can deliver a better life for black workers.
Once a coveted job, conditions for railroad workers have badly deteriorated. But railroad workers are central to our economy — so central that a current impasse between railroad companies and associated unions has prompted Joe Biden to intervene.
Good union jobs built America’s blue-collar black middle class. But the percentage of black workers in manufacturing has been halved since the 1970s, yielding poverty and precarity. We can’t achieve racial justice without a movement to win those jobs back.
Climate and labor activists are coming together to hammer out ambitious but realistic plans for massively expanding the clean-energy sector in a way that also creates good union jobs. For both paychecks and the planet, it’s the only path forward.