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Labor Notes


Because of being so immersed in the horribleness of daily politics, I haven’t really been doing enough labor blogging of late. This is bad on my part and I need to get back to it. Here’s a few stories to help catch everyone up.

1) With so much tech work being outsourced to India, it’s really promising for all tech workers that Indians are starting to demand unions.

2) Trump may have friends in Bangkok as the Thai prime minister is forced to backtrack on a huge deportation campaign based on a new migrant labor law.

3) When we think about undocumented workers from Latin America, we almost reflexively assume they are Latinos who speak Spanish. But that is very often not the case. They are frequently indigenous people who do not speak Spanish. This leads to a whole set of unique issues, some of which replicate racism within Latin America and others that stem from the white American assumption that everyone must speak Spanish. Around these intertwined issues of race, indigeneity, and labor exploitation, indigenous Oaxacan migrants in Washington have started their own union in the agricultural industry.

4) Despite successful Republican and corporate kidnapping of the word “freedom,” unions are what provide workers freedom, not employers.

5) The run of the Iron Stache, Randy Bryce, a member of the Ironworkers, against Paul Ryan could be interesting and will get a lot of grassroots support.

6) Would you go see a play written by Mark Rylance about the Homestead Strike? I know I would!

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  • wjts

    Although I usually agree with Neil Gaiman on the subject, I’d love to see Mark Rylance as the Doctor.

  • CP

    6) Would you go see a play written by Mark Rylance about the Homestead Strike? I know I would!

    I would, generally speaking, support anything that raises awareness of the history of organized labor, how horrifying conditions were before the reformists imposed changes, and how important a role it had in creating the modern middle-class society of the twentieth century that’s still the baseline for what people consider “normal.”

  • ThresherK

    A play about the Homestead Strike? Hell, I’d go to see a musical about it.

    Mind you, I’m in a few musical cults, such as “Chess” and “Parade” already.

  • drwormphd

    Whatever Rylance’s merits as an actor, he’s probably the most prominent Anti-Stratfordian of our times, going so far as to fund people willing to say that there is no Shakespeare. So I wouldn’t expect his Homestead play to be rigorously accurate in its understanding of history.

    • wjts

      Henry Clay Frick was a college dropout who lived most of his life in the backwaters of Western Pennsylvania. As this play will show, “his” companies were really run by Augustus Octavius Bacon.

      (And isn’t Derek Jacobi the most prominent anti-Stratfordian of our times?)

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