How Labor Won in Ohio  

Courtney Johnson, who has taught English in Ohio high schools for a decade, never expected to make news. In her classes, she routinely stressed the importance of civic participation and political awareness. As adviser to the school newspaper, she emphasized …







Can This Election Save the Unions?  

It now seems like ancient history: the few weeks between Barack Obama’s election in November 2008 and the onset, after the inauguration, of intransigent, increasingly successful Republican opposition to his entire program. That was a moment in which hostility to …





High-End Food, Low-Wage Labor  

Some people work in restaurants as a lifestyle choice: they love the fast pace, the quick jokes, the often easy-flowing booze. At the height of a busy shift, if everything’s going right, a team of skilled cooks and waiters can …



Workers’ Rights and the Distributive Constitution  

Progressives have forgotten how to think about the constitutional dimensions of economic life. Work, livelihood, and opportunity; material security and insecurity; poverty and dependency; union organizing, collective bargaining, and workplace democracy: for generations of American reformers, the constitutional importance of …



Don’t Forget Solidarity  

A decade before Abram Hewitt defeated Henry George’s bid for mayor of New York in 1886, he delivered a more lasting blow to the American Left. A prominent northern congressman and chair of the Democratic National Committee, Hewitt played a …



The Fall and Rise of the U.S. Populist Left  

Until the emergence of Occupy Wall Street, a disturbing absence marked American political life. The nation’s economic miseries continued, with unemployment high and home sales stagnant or dropping. The gap between the wealthiest Americans and their fellow citizens yawned wider …







The “I” in Union  

At a time when unions are floundering and popular sentiment toward organized labor is at an all-time low of 45 percent, one workers’ organization is thriving. The Freelancers’ Union, a nonprofit organization based in a trendy Brooklyn neighborhood, has more …




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