Monthly Archives: December, 2015

Updates on the Detention of Chinese Labor Activists

ACADEME BLOG

I recently re-posted a piece by Paul Garver on the detention of labor activists in China. Paul edits the Talking Union blog of the Democratic Socialists of America, and I included the re-post of his piece in a somewhat broader article on labor activism in China: http://academeblog.org/2015/12/10/supporting-the-emerging-chinese-labor-movement-on-international-human-rights-day/.

That post was then re-posted on the Facebook page of the Red Balloon Solidarity Group: https://www.facebook.com/redballoonsolidarity.

Although that page is largely in Chinese, another site called libcom.org has provided an English-language summary of the updates on the Red Ballon site from December 9 through December 16: http://libcom.org/news/updates-guangdong-seven-december-16.

If you wish to show support for the labor activists who have been detained by the Chinese government, you can sign a petition for college and university faculty available at:http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/scholars-opposing-the-abuse-of-state-power.

The petition has already been signed by faculty from a very broad range of colleges and universities worldwide.

Here is the…

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“Right to Work” by the Numbers: Part 12: Unemployment Rates in Mid-December 2015

ACADEME BLOG

The “right-to-work” states are indicated in red, and the pro-labor states in white:

US Map 1

Compare that map with this map indicating the state unemployment rates reported on December 18, 2015:

Unemployement 2015-12-18

In the Ohio House, legislation has been introduced to impose “right-to-work” restrictions on private-sector unions, with the primary argument for the measure being the now very tired assertion that pro-labor states cannot compete economically with “right-to-work” states—that pro-labor states are at a decided disadvantage in attracting job-creating companies.

A comparison of these two maps provides no support for those claims.

Such a comparison also does not support the assertion that Ohio cannot compete with adjacent states that have recently passed “right-to-work” legislation: Indiana and Wisconsin are doing only very marginally better in terms of employment and Michigan is doing worse.

Moreover, look at the job-creation statistics that have just been reported:

Table D.  States with statistically significant employment changes from November 2014…

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Supporting the Emerging Chinese Labor Movement on International Human Rights Day

ACADEME BLOG

The following was posted to the Talking Union blog by Paul Garver:

Free Chinese Labor Activists

I am writing this on the evening of 9th December in the USA, but in Hong Kong it is already the morning of 10th December. At this moment labor and human rights activists are converging on the Western Police Station in Hing Kong to demand that the Mainland Chinese authorities in neighboring Guangdong Province release several labor rights activists rounded up over the last few days.

December 10th is International Human Rights Day, intended to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Chinese authorities, panicked by an accelerating wave of actions by workers protesting factory closures and non-payment of wages, are trying to stifle workers’ desperate defensive protests by detaining labor rights activists and closing worker rights centers.

This is no trivial matter. The Pearl River Delta on the mainland opposite Hong Kong represents the…

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Columbus Dispatch Discourages Passage of “Right-to-Work” Legislation

ACADEME BLOG

In an editorial titled “Don’t Pick a New Fight: After Repeal of Senate Bill 5, Ohio Doesn’t Need Another Labor Battle,” the editors of the Columbus Dispatch, a newspaper not known for its support of labor unions, have publicly discouraged the members of the Ohio House from passing HB 377, which would impose “right-to-work” restrictions on private-sector unions in Ohio.

Here are some highlights from the editorial:

“Pragmatically, it is hard to believe this bill stands a chance. The temperature of the state hasn’t changed much since 2011, when Senate Bill 5 took a drubbing, 62 to 38 percent, in a ballot referendum.

“Legislative leaders already are said to be cool to the bill. They realize little would be gained by handing organized labor such a golden issue at a time when Ohio’s job numbers are up, the nation is entering another presidential cycle with Ohio as a battleground…

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