Category Archives: Women’s Rights

Retail Rebellion

Reinventing Organized Labor in the Walmart Economy

January 15, 2013

First published at The Neoprogressive. Also published at Counterpunch and Common Dreams.

In 1962, Arkansas businessman Sam Walton opened the first Walmart discount store, setting in motion the rapid ascendance of a corporate giant that would redefine markets around the world. With its focus on competitive prices and vast distribution networks that revolutionized the industry, Walmart grew over the course of the 20th century to become the world’s largest company.

Today, its retail empire covers 15 countries with over 8,900 stores employing 2.2 million people. Like all empires, its success is built on contradictions and exploitation. Read the rest of this entry

Labor Needs a Different Kind of “Ground Game”

November 20, 2012

Published at Common Dreams and CounterPunch.

After suffering almost two years of ramped up union-busting, the labor movement came out swinging in the recent elections. It swung its hardest in swing states like Ohio, delivering the 2012 presidential election to President Obama and propelling other labor-endorsed candidates to office.

Labor’s decisive role in reelecting Obama and boosting dozens of other Democrats in key races was acknowledged in the national press. And it was acknowledged by labor. Read the rest of this entry

Decision 2012: Austerity vs. Austerity

November 6, 2012

As this year’s election finally reaches its conclusion, working-class people will soon know who will drive the agenda of austerity over the next four years. Whether it’s Obama or Romney, the underlying priorities remain the same, and at the center of those priorities is a commitment to cut the deficit on the backs of workers and the poor.

Up to this point, the campaigning on either side has sought to lead voters into a state of mind in which substance and style bleed together as one. Because beyond style, both Obama and Romney share more in common on policy than they disagree. Even if Democrats and Republicans differ on how to get there, the goal is the same: safeguard the dominance of corporate power and point to the deficit as reason enough to march forward with the assault on the working class.  Read the rest of this entry

Remembering Pittston: 99 Strikers who Occupied before Occupy

December 15, 2011

Published at Counterpunch, Common Dreams and Socialist Worker.

After a year of revolutions, strikes, and protest occupations, a new era of struggle has shifted the political landscape. Workers and the poor have taken to the streets, occupying public squares and striking across the globe – from Egypt to Greece to cities across the U.S.

In particular, the Occupy movement in the U.S. has helped to mainstream radical critiques of the capitalist system. The movement’s bold tactics have terrified the ruling one percent, which has lashed out violently to protect its power and wealth from the fury of the 99 percent.

When it comes to breaking the rules of the one percent, a natural yet complicated alliance between Occupy and the labor movement offers today’s new struggle against economic inequality historical lessons written by the organized working class. Long before Occupy, the labor movement shaped a tradition of militancy in the United States – a tradition of factory occupations and civil disobedience in the fight for justice and workers power. Read the rest of this entry

Profit Against People and the Planet

June 3, 2011

[SubDisp Exclusive]

Some Favorite Articles this Week from a Favorite Website

The race for profit is the singular driving force behind capitalism. There is no altruistic motivation that trumps the private thirst for accumulating capital from what should otherwise be the public domain. That domain consists of two fundamental components: natural resources and the human labor that works off of those resources. Today, the corporate drive for profit necessarily runs roughshod over these two forces. It operates with a spectacular disregard for the well-being of both human and natural resources.

A conflict between labor and capital that erupted in the early 1920s in West Virginia between coal miners and bosses marked the largest insurrection in U.S. history after the Civil War. The Battle of Blair Mountain saw thousands of armed miners descending from the mountains and battling the hired thugs of the coal companies in Mingo County. The companies used violence in the form of goons that murdered and terrorized workers, strikers, organizers and their families – all in the name of preventing the workers from organizing a union and to keep the United Mine Workers union out of southern West Virginia. Martial law and the use of violence – as was touched upon in the last SubterraneanDispatcher article – revealed the bloody measures that both bosses and the state resort to in order to protect the wealth of a few. Read the rest of this entry

US Uncut: The New Movement against Austerity and Corporate Tax Cheats

April 18, 2011

Published at Common Dreams, Counterpunch, and

By Monday April 18th most Americans will have finished filing their taxes, helping to boost government revenue at a time when the only thing most politicians care to discuss is how to cut the deficit.

But a large pack of corporate citizens will probably not be worrying about paying their dues; tax day, like any other day for them, will be strictly devoted to growing their bloated profit margins.

Recent reporting that some of the largest U.S. corporations have paid little to nothing in federal income taxes in the past few years hasn’t stopped the upside-down debate in Washington. The beltway budget battle remains focused on one blunt question: how much of a beating should be given to workers and the poor in order to bring down the deficit while leaving the corporate bottom line unscathed? Read the rest of this entry