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2014 closed out with a wave of protests against police violence, and now, with police-community tensions coming to a boil, across New York City, 2015 has begun with a wave of cop rebellion, from the fighting words of a police union chief to a coordinated back-turning against the Mayor, to an apparent work slowdown, as summonses and arrests take a mysterious dive. We peer behind the blue wall this week with historian Josh Freeman, to discuss how police and their unions fit within the labor movement, and parse the political contradictions of uniformed officers getting organized on the one hand, and serving as agents of the establishment on the other.
Our news round-up features new family-friendly workplace laws in 2015, the latest effort to leave more food stamp recipients empty-handed, anti-austerity battles in Greek politics, and struggles for safety among Latino construction workers. Plus some recommended reading on an innovative organizing campaign in an online school system, and the subtle politics of slacking.
Michelle: America’s Workplaces Are Hostile to Families (The Nation)
Food stamp benefit cut may force a million people into ‘serious hardship’ (Al Jazeera America)
Joshua Freeman, Professor of History at the Murphy Institute, Queens College, and the CUNY Graduate Center
Police unions, organized labor have rarely seen eye to eye (Al Jazeera America)
Smash the Lynch Mob (Jacobin)
Michelle: How Should Labor Respond to Police Unions? (The Nation)
Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!
Michelle: Samantha Winslow, Virtual Teaching, Real Organizing (Labor Notes)
Sarah: Lindsay Beyerstein, Slacking Workers of the World Unite (In These Times)