Posts in: workers

From campus to carwash, Los Angeles workers are making waves

April 2014

From luxury hotels to ivory tower, low-wage workers in Los Angeles are rocking the boat of poverty pay, intolerable conditions, and injustice. Skyrocketing living costs are firing up their rebellion. Economic pundits report the California economy is finally rebounding after the 2009 crash. But while a few rich are growing wildly wealthy, the majority of… Read more »

Freedom Socialist editorial — $15 an hour now (not eventually)

April 2014

Seattle has become a beacon of hope for low-wage workers as a movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour picks up steam. So it was quite a blow when Socialist Alternative (SA) and Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant announced that the organized campaign called 15 Now, which SA leads, is adopting… Read more »

Freedom Socialist Letters to the Editor

June 2014

DROUGHT Water wastage Thanks for the article on the drought in California and the resulting, ever higher food prices in the land of plenty [Food prices, drought, and poverty, Vol. 35, No. 2]. With respect to capitalist-induced climate change, there are three kinds of people in California: the vast majority who suffer its effects, the… Read more »

Seattle’s fight for $15/hour: Leave no one behind

June 2014

When the small city of SeaTac passed a $15 minimum wage initiative in November 2013, it heightened the hopes of all those fast-food strikers and other labor protesters over the last few years. Just a few miles north of SeaTac, the election of socialist Kshama Sawant to the Seattle City Council on a platform that… Read more »

Berry pickers win big!

August 2014

Familias Unidas por la Justicia, an independent union at Sakuma Bros farm, sued for wage theft and won an $850,000 settlement. A huge victory! The farmworkers union also got family housing reinstated. These two wins have been a shot-in-the-arm to gaining a first contract. Support the struggle at www.boycottsakumaberries.com.

Supreme Court sabotages the right of homecare workers to unionize

August 2014

Building on their anti-union gains in Wisconsin and other states, rightwing forces delivered a new blow to labor at the national level in the Supreme Court case Pamela Harris v. Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois. The June ruling reclassifies home healthcare aides as “right to work” employees and lays the groundwork for more attacks. Rather… 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 »

Northwest farm workers harvest labor victories

October 2014

In northwest Washington state, a feisty self-organized union is making labor history by confronting a goliath berry corporation — and winning! Skagit Valley farm workers, mostly indigenous Triqui and Mixteco people originally from Southern Mexico, formed the independent union, Familias Unidas por la Justicia (Families United for Justice), last year. Now they are fighting for… 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.