Posts in: economy

Europe: austerity breeds electoral advances by the far right

August 2014

Seventy years after millions perished in the war against Hitler, fascism is on the rise, as witnessed by the results of the May election for the European Union Parliament. France’s National Front (FN), a neo-Nazi party, beat all other French parties and gained 20 seats, for a total of 23. It now rivals England’s Independent… Read more »

The fight for $15/hour — what activists can learn from Seattle

August 2014

All eyes were on Seattle in June, as the city council adopted a $15/hr. minimum wage plan — the highest in the nation for a major city. Organized labor and legions of low-paid workers celebrated mightily. The victory also gave fresh fuel to a movement that is scoring gains across the country. In November, San… Read more »

Fast-food workers strike on Sept. 4

October 2014

In their biggest action since launching the fight for $15 per hour, better working conditions and union rights, fast-food workers joined by homecare unionists took to the streets in 150 cities across the country. More than 450 were arrested, but remain unintimidated. Their bosses at McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC better watch out.

Living wage fight flourishes in California — Campaigns underway in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego

October 2014

As the cost of living in California climbs upward at a racer’s pace, alliances of progressives, socialists and trade unionists have launched intense campaigns to raise the minimum wage in cities across the state. San Francisco and Oakland have placed living wage measures on the November ballot; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, under strong pressure… Read more »

Dateline Australia — Fight-back against austerity needs union leadership

October 2014

An infamous image said it all. After drafting the largest attack on the poor in Australia’s history with a drastic budget scheme, chief finance minister (treasurer) Joe Hockey and his deputy were photographed smoking cigars outside Parliament house in Australia’s capital, Canberra. What did the image say? “Screw you!” And four days later, Australian workers… Read more »

Seattle tenants mobilize against massive rent hikes

December 2014

Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is pushing a proposal called “Stepping Forward” that could kick many low-income tenants out of their homes. The plan would raise rent for households with at least one “work-able” adult: anyone between 24-61 who does not have a disability that prevents them from holding a job. Residents, whose rent is typically… Read more »

Harlem community battles developers, privatization of schools and housing

December 2014

In his 1951 poem Harlem, Langston Hughes asks: “What happens to a dream deferred?” More than half a century later, with hedge fund honchos and real estate moguls calling the shots, the pursuit of profit is turning Harlem’s unfinished dream of Black liberation into a struggle by residents to block transformation of the neighborhood into… Read more »

Oil and the struggle for world domination

April 2015

Oil and oil prices — they are on the minds of everyone. When the price of oil plummets, it’s a relief for beleaguered workers around the world. With wages falling or jobs gone, and services and education cut, paying 30 or 40 percent less for gas and heating fuel is huge. But the decrease is… Read more »