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.
Paul Prescod is an organizer with Teamsters for a Democratic Union and Jacobin contributing editor.
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.
Labor leader Tony Mazzocchi believed unions could inspire their members to engage in a broader political movement of working people. His Local 149 did just that in the 1950s — and in a suburban environment where no one thought it possible.
The Teamsters’ Martin Luther King Jr Day mobilization was an encouraging early sign that recently elected union reformers intend to hit the ground running by organizing members around concrete contract demands. They’ll need that energy during contract negotiations in 2023.
In 1966, New York City public transit workers went on strike for a better contract, paralyzing the life of the city. The strike showed that New York couldn’t function without their labor and forced reluctant bosses to concede to their demands.
Everybody needs high-speed internet. But private corporations will never provide it. The solution: treat internet infrastructure as a public utility, funded by the public and built by union workers.
Paul Prescod is a socialist, teacher, and longtime Jacobin contributor who is running for Pennsylvania state senate. In an interview, Prescod discusses his roots in labor, an agenda for Pennsylvania left elected officials, and why he plans to be an “organizer-in-chief.”
Elite universities like Harvard and Penn are using their tax-exempt status to rob public coffers blind. The solution is easy: tax them.
From fighting contract concessions to making common-good demands like postal banking and public broadband, Canadian postal workers’ fighting unionism should be an inspiration to USPS workers.
Despite his “working-class Joe” schtick, Joe Biden has often sided with big business over the labor movement. But his changes in the National Labor Relations Board may allow union organizers new opportunities to rebuild labor. It’s up to us to take advantage before the window closes.
Too many anti-racist efforts today obsess over individual actions like microaggressions. We need to fight racism in a collective project rooted in shared material interests — as the United Packinghouse Workers of America did in its heyday.
Maida Springer isn’t a household name even among trade unionists and labor historians. But she was a lifelong union member and organizer who was committed to using unions to improve black people’s lives in the United States and Africa.
We talk with historian Matt Karp about how ending our great age of inequality will take a renewed working-class politics.
The Disney cartoonists and animators’ strike that began at a California studio on May 29, 1941, forever changed the labor standards of an industry — and inspired cultural workers to take greater ownership over their labor.
The Philadelphia union leader Wendell Young III straddled the worlds of the labor movement born out of the New Deal and the social movements of the New Left. He believed that uniting these two worlds in struggle could transform the United States.
Labor has suffered defeat after defeat in recent years, especially when it comes to the steady expansion of state-level right-to-work bills. But earlier this month, the state of Montana bucked that trend — by defeating right-to-work.
Workers’ pensions have been under attack for decades in the United States, so the passage of pension relief for over a million workers as part of the latest COVID-19 relief bill is a welcome development. Now we need to fight to defend and expand pensions for all workers.