Monthly Archives: September, 2016

Events in India and the Future of Organized Labor


In an article published by AlterNet, Vijay Prashad reports on the latest and most massive general strike that occurred in India in early September. Although the article has a Marxist slant that may make it seem more op-ed than news report, Prashad gets several things undeniably right: (1) the corporate media has largely ignored labor unrest; (2) the decline in union membership does not mean that labor issues have become anachronistic; (3) the number of exploited, low-income workers is increasing, rather than declining; (4) in many ways, the exploitation of those workers has not just been an unfortunate consequence of economic change and an unfortunate anomaly of recent economic growth, but, instead, a major factor in both; and (5) if labor unions are to have renewed purpose and renewed vitality in the post-industrial economy, they need to serve such exploited workers, even if doing so requires new structures and…

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Statistic of the Day


$933 million

Wage theft recovered for workers by federal and state agencies in 2012.

$341 million

Estimated value of all of the property taken in all reported robberies in 2012.

Jeff Spross, The Week, 15 Aug. 2016

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The Self-Declared “Voice of the Working Man” on the Workers’ Holiday

Saving the Labor Center at UMass-Amherst


This post originally appeared on the blog Talking Union. Paul Garver, the editor of that blog, on which some of my labor-related posts to this blog have been re-posted, has asked that I disseminate it as widely as possible. As the note at the bottom makes clear, it had already been recycled several times before it made it onto the Talking Union blog.


This letter is from Eve Weinbaum, Director of the Labor Center at UMass-Amherst. She writes about the abominable efforts of the university administration to get rid of the Labor Center and its despicable treatment of her. Eve is an outstanding champion of workers, at her own university and across the country. And the Labor Center is outstanding. Please consider writing to the persons she notes at the end of her letter, protesting what the university is doing. I taught in the Union Leadership and Administration…

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“Right to Work,” By the Numbers: Part 14

Job Growth and Good-Paying Job Growth in U.S. Urban Areas

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

Pro-Labor and RtW States

If you compare that map with the following map, showing the raw job growth in U.S. urban areas, you’ll see that the greatest raw job growth is in the Sun Belt states, including the “right-to-work” states in the southeastern and south-central regions of the country:

1 Raw Job Growth

But this next three maps, differentiating growth in low-wage jobs (paying less than $14.00/hour), mid-wage jobs (paying between $14.00 and $21.00/hour) and high-wage jobs (paying more than $21.000/hour), the “right-to-work” states look much less attractive to workers, even taking into account differences in cost of living:

2 Low-Wage Job Growth

3 Middle-Wage Job Growth

4 High-Wage Job Growth


Previous posts in this series have included:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 1: Population Growth and Movement:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 2: Immigration:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 3: Unemployment Rates, by State:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 4: Historic Highs and Lows in Unemployment, by State:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 5: Employment in Manufacturing:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 6: Loss of Employment in Manufacturing, before and during the Great Recession:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 7: GDP by State and GDP per Capita by State:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 8: GDP in Urban and Rural Areas:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 9: Previously Uninsured Americans Who Now Receive Health Insurance through the Federal Exchanges Established under the Affordable Care Act:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 10: Unemployment Rates in August 2015:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 11: Adult Obesity Rates:

Right to Work by the Numbers, Part 12: Adult Obesity Rates: Unemployment Rates in Mid-December 2015:

“Right to Work,” by the Numbers: Part 13: Poverty Rates in 2014:

“Right to Work,” by the Numbers: Part 14: Workers Earning Federal Minimum Wage or Less:

“Saving Jobs” in Indiana while Losing Twice as Many Jobs


This is from CNN’s Politics Nightcap newsletter of August 29, written by Eric Bradner:


“Indiana’s Business Tax Breaks under Pence Scrutinized

“Under Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, Indiana companies are getting tax breaks even though they’re outsourcing jobs, the Indianapolis Star‘s Tony Cook reports.

“How does this work? It’s complicated, but here’s an example: Vera Bradley got a 10-year, $1.75 million tax break to add 128 jobs to its 567 in Roanoke, Indiana. But in nearby New Haven, Vera Bradley laid off 250 workers, shifting their jobs to Asia. That’s almost double what they added in Roanoke — yet the company didn’t lose its tax break. Other states have banned this but Indiana has not.

“Why this matters: Pence is running on a Republican ticket laser-focused on jump-starting the economy by cracking down on outsourcing and the trade deals that allow it. That under his leadership, Indiana has…

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Statistic of the Day


CEO salaries in the health-insurance industry:

CEO Salaries in Health Insurance Industry

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