Right to a job

The Boston chapter of the Occupy4Jobs Network held a spirited community/labor forum focusing on the struggle to stop post office closings and the fight for jobs. ... Posted Feb 27, 2012

Hundreds of poor and working people came out to see and issue demands to President Barack Obama during his Feb. 15 visit to the Masterlock company. The plant is located in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in the center of Milwaukee. ... Posted Feb 23, 2012

Excerpted from a talk given by Larry Hales, WW contributing editor, at the WWP National Conference in New York City, Oct. 8-9.... Posted Oct 13, 2011

Although the word “recession” has faded completely from the U.S. corporate and government media, a recent jobless report shows that the unemployment rate has risen again to 9 percent. And the unemployment rate among African Americans went up at an even higher rate than that for the general population.... Posted May 12, 2011

The fact is that this crisis goes much deeper than the capitalist political parties will ever admit. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Look at it this way: Permanent, full-time jobs for most of the 30 million people in the U.S. who are either unemployed or underemployed are not coming back. Even big business media like the Wall Street Journal are talking about that.... Posted May 12, 2011

The great struggle of the Wisconsin public workers has galvanized union solidarity on a national level not seen since 1981. That was when the AFL-CIO organized the Solidarity Day demonstration of half a million workers in Washington, D.C., after President Ronald Reagan had fired 18,000 air traffic controllers, members of the PATCO union, and banned them from federal employment for life. But Solidarity Day in 1981 was a one-shot, symbolic action that came and went because the issue was quickly abandoned by the top leadership after the demonstration was over. This time it’s different.... Posted Mar 9, 2011

The announcement by the U.S. government that unemployment dropped from 9.4 percent to 9 percent in January is pure statistical manipulation meant to deceive workers into thinking that things are getting better.... Posted Feb 19, 2011

As the cold winter chill sets in across the U.S., homelessness is at an all-time high. Over the past few years, millions of people have been forced from their homes by foreclosures and evictions and into overcrowded shelters and transitional housing. The number of homeless families rose by close to 30 percent between 2007 and 2009.... Posted Dec 12, 2010

Two days before the huge jobs and justice rally in Washington, D.C., the House on Sept. 29 threw a curve ball and called it a jobs bill. Republicans and Democrats finally got together and voted to expand the powers of the Obama administration. But what for?... Posted Oct 11, 2010

APWU and other postal workers and their supporters marched to say “no way” to the proposed five-day mail service the U.S. Postal Service management wants to implement.... Posted Sep 6, 2010

The official unemployment rate, which was 9.5 percent in July, has no credibility. It is classic “political spin” intended to fill workers’ heads with hope that a recovery is right around the corner.... Posted Sep 6, 2010

Some 5,000 protesters marched and rallied in downtown Detroit on Aug. 28 demanding jobs, peace and justice. ... Posted Sep 1, 2010

Chants of “We want jobs!” rang out at the corner of Wall and Broad streets in the shadow of the Stock Exchange at noon on Aug. 12 as the “99ers” made their first appearance in struggle in the streets.... Posted Aug 22, 2010

An energetic protest demanding jobs in Harlem, N.Y., and beyond hit several targets on Aug. 6. Community leaders and activists began their action at North General Hospital — where workers, represented by Service Employees Local 1199, were given only four days’ notice that the entire hospital would be shut down. Describing the closing of the hospital as an attack on the whole community, union members declared their struggle to be not just a fight for jobs, but also a fight to preserve affordable health care in Harlem.... Posted Aug 15, 2010

The latest jobs report and economic growth numbers confirm that no recovery is in store for the working class. On the contrary, mass unemployment is likely to get worse, not better. The short-lived “jobless recovery” is on the decline after less than a year, following a downturn lasting 19 months.... Posted Aug 11, 2010

Corporate profits are rising, corporate cash is piling up, business has increased. But jobs are not coming back any time soon for the millions of unemployed.... Posted Aug 8, 2010

As a consumer I have discovered that so many workers, such as clerks, food service workers or bank tellers, have to take on a second job. It seems every worker in these increasingly deskilled and low-paid jobs is now a salesperson, in addition to the drudgery of the dull, unforgiving work they already have to do.... Posted Jul 21, 2010

Workers historically excluded from labor organizing and protections are challenging the mainstream trade union movement in the United States, which is now finding itself in increasing decline with deindustrialization and massive job loss. Domestic workers, public sector workers in the South, farmworkers, day laborers and temporary workers have begun to organize against their exclusion from U.S. labor laws and for rights other workers have won over years of struggle.... Posted Jul 15, 2010

Solidarity House, the international headquarters of the United Auto Workers, was the scene of a packed press conference the afternoon of July 12. Recently elected UAW President Bob King joined with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other union, political and religious leaders to announce an Aug. 28 march in Detroit that will kick off a campaign for “jobs, justice and peace.”... Posted Jul 14, 2010

On June 1, an estimated 325,000 eligible unemployed workers were denied extended unemployment benefits. By the end of June, if Congress does not pass the latest emergency unemployment benefits extension bill, this number is expected to mushroom to at least one and a quarter million workers, according to government figures.... Posted Jun 28, 2010

On May 18 a resolution supporting a federal jobs program and opposing cuts to federal youth programs was passed by the Raleigh City Council. Chants of “A job is right, we gotta fight fight fight!” and “Money for jobs and education, not for banks and incarceration!” greeted Raleigh City Council members at recent meetings. Two well-attended rallies at Raleigh City Council meetings on May 4 and May 18 were organized by the Raleigh Peoples’ Assembly.... Posted Jun 10, 2010

On March 29 more than 500 Detroit workers, retirees and community members filled the Detroit City Council’s auditorium to oppose the $6 billion giveaway of city pension assets initiated by Mayor Dave Bing.... Posted Apr 7, 2010

Cheerleaders for capitalism are talking out of both sides of their mouths about the latest job numbers, which showed the creation of 162,000 jobs in March. However, a few lines further down came the bad news: “The economy needs to add more than 100,000 jobs a month just to absorb new entrants into the labor market, let alone provide a livelihood for the 15 million Americans already looking for work. Without constant, robust growth, the unemployment rate won’t budge.... Posted Apr 7, 2010

A Gallup Poll released on Feb. 23 revealed that in January 30 million workers in the U.S. were either on forced part-time or out of work altogether. This number, based on a poll of over 20,000 adults over the age of 18 and conducted from Jan. 2 to Jan. 31, amounts to 20 percent of the workforce.... Posted Mar 3, 2010

The jobless recovery has been declared official by the New York Times, the newspaper of record for the U.S. ruling class. Its edition of Feb. 21 — the Sunday paper that is read in every capital, finance ministry, embassy, consulate, department of state, etc., in the capitalist world — carried the following two-column banner headline in bold: “Despite Signs of Recovery, Chronic Joblessness Rises — The Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs, Exhausting Savings and Benefits.”... Posted Feb 28, 2010

With snow on the city sidewalks the summer still seems a long way away, but for many New York City students the anxiety over where they will find summer employment this year is inescapable. ... Posted Feb 15, 2010

On Feb. 4, hundreds of Wayne County workers protested forced weekly unpaid furlough days that were to begin the next day. This 20-percent pay cut will affect 700 selected workers, many making less than $30,000 per year.... Posted Feb 10, 2010

The news that while the economy grew at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the last quarter, there was simultaneously a net loss of 208,000 jobs, indicates that U.S. capitalism has entered a new phase — the phase of the “jobless recovery” with increasingly intractable and growing long-term mass unemployment.... Posted Feb 3, 2010

The latest job reports for December should convince workers that all the talk about economic recovery coming from the media pundits is just hot air. The only recovery is the bankers’ bonuses and the corporations’ profits. And the time to fight back against layoffs, foreclosures and cutbacks is now.... Posted Jan 13, 2010

Protesters converged on the White House on Dec. 3—the day President Barack Obama was holding his “jobs summit”—to demand a comprehensive jobs program, not more war.... Posted Dec 13, 2009

Excerpts from a talk by Sharon Black at the WWP National Conference, Nov. 14.... Posted Nov 24, 2009

In the crisis now unfolding, a revitalized workers’ movement, in order to be effective, will have to draw in all the sectors that have either been left out or marginalized.... Posted Nov 13, 2009

Over 1,000 unionized and laid-off workers came from across New England for a massive march for jobs here on Oct. 1. With unemployment at record levels and no end in sight, organized labor in Massachusetts stirred the local movement for economic justice to a new height.... Posted Oct 12, 2009

The grim numbers are in. In September, 263,000 more jobs were lost. Official unemployment edged closer to 10 percent, going from 9.7 to 9.8. This was larger than predicted by capitalist economists and is the result of 21 consecutive months of economic downturn, the longest streak in 70 years.... Posted Oct 7, 2009

The leaders of the big imperialist powers met in Pittsburgh in September to argue over how to protect capital. They didn’t put forward one credible proposal to solve the crisis of the hundreds of millions of unemployed and underemployed workers around the world.... Posted Oct 1, 2009

Protesters marched through the streets of Pittsburgh on Sept. 20 demanding a real jobs program, like the public works program the Roosevelt administration enacted during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was the first demonstration related to the G-20 summit.... Posted Sep 23, 2009

The recent mass mobilization of racists and right-wingers of all stripes in Washington, D.C., and in cities around the country requires the attention of the working class, white workers especially. In the face of mounting racism and efforts to divide the workers during an economic crisis, the struggle for class unity is more pressing than ever. While these right-wing demonstrations are numerically small, and may eventually die down, they are politically significant because they represent a de facto bloc between important sections of big business and the racist ultra-right, based upon an immediate common objective: to push back the program of the Obama administration.... Posted Sep 23, 2009

WORKERS WORLD PARTYand newspaper endorse and are actively helping to build the Jobs March to take place in Pittsburgh on Sept. 20, as well as the Tent City that follows. Why is this march, which begins in the historically African-American section of a city that once was the steel center of the United States, so important?... Posted Sep 16, 2009

With the Sept. 4 announcement that unemployment in the U.S. has hit an official high of 9.7 percent, organizing for the National March for Jobs on Sept. 20 in Pittsburgh and the Tent City in Solidarity with the Unemployed has reached a critical stage. Unemployed workers and their allies will be in Pittsburgh at the same time the G-20 Group of major capitalist countries will be holding their summit in that city.... Posted Sep 13, 2009

Guess what? There is a slight rise in some corporate profits. The corporations and biggest banks are doing a bit better. So the experts see a “recovery.” No big surprise, however. If the government spent $10 or $12 trillion to buy up the workers’ unpayable debts and guaranteed their loans, the way they have done for Wall Street, workers would still be exploited and underpaid, but things would not be quite so bad. Instead there are 30 million workers either unemployed or underemployed, with depression-level rates of joblessness in the African-American and Latino/a communities, and things are getting worse for them and their families, not better.... Posted Sep 3, 2009

At a time when millions are laid off and unemployed throughout the country during the worst economic crisis since the depression of the 1930s, the Boston School Bus Union—Steelworkers Local 8751—has succeeded in round one of a long fight to protect jobs and vital services to the communities the union serves.... Posted Sep 2, 2009

Hundreds of city employees and community residents gathered Aug. 19 outside City Hall in Detroit to protest budget cuts. Newly elected interim Mayor Dave Bing has already placed over 300 workers on indefinite layoff and is preparing the public for the idling of another 1,000 employees.... Posted Aug 26, 2009

Capitalist economists, experts and stock market gamblers cannot make up their minds as to whether or not there is a “recovery.” For workers who are losing their jobs, their homes, their health care, their wages and are deeply in debt, there is no ambiguity. There is no recovery. However, at the slightest hint of less-bad news—news that is not as bad as the news from the period before—the well-paid experts are quick to declare that a recovery is in sight.... Posted Aug 19, 2009

What do the July unemployment statistics mean for the working class? Most bourgeois economists expressed undue optimism. They’re optimistic mostly because the rising stock market and jump in banking profits has brought optimism back to the capitalists, who pay the economists’ salaries.... Posted Aug 13, 2009

On July 9 workers and many community supporters staged a militant street rally in Rock Island, Ill., in front of a Wells Fargo bank to protest the closing of the Quad City Die Casting plant in Moline, Ill. Putting their bodies on the line to challenge the bank’s business as usual, the rally moved into the street to blockade traffic. Nearly a dozen QCDC workers and other workers refused to leave and were arrested in defiance. When asked by local FOX 18 News why she took such bold action and got arrested, QCDC worker Deb Johann stated, “Because I wanna save my job!”... Posted Aug 12, 2009

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report on July 2 confirming the growing economic disaster facing the working class. In June 14.7 million people were unemployed and the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed workers has increased by 7.2 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 4.6 percentage points.... Posted Jul 22, 2009

Advocates for a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs joined environmentalists and supporters of single-payer health care on July 14 when President Barack Obama visited metro Detroit. ... Posted Jul 22, 2009

When the U.S. scientific-military establishment, through NASA, put a person on the moon, it was a very big deal. It generated such excitement and optimism; somehow this technological breakthrough would usher in a better, more enlightened period in human history Well, that was four decades ago, when the United States military was involved in another horrible war that brought nothing but suffering and misery to the peoples of Southeast Asia and the U.S. In fact, the Apollo moonwalk may have prolonged that catastrophe, because it bolstered the sagging prestige of the U.S. at a time when rejection of imperialist war and plunder was growing around the world.... Posted Jul 22, 2009

More than 20 million workers find themselves stranded without the paychecks needed to pay for daily expenses in addition to debts: medical bills, credit card debt, mortgages and car payments. The media are right about one thing. This IS capitalism. This IS how it works. It’s a hellish system, especially in a period of economic crisis.... Posted Jul 8, 2009

Bob Herbert, who is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times and also an African American, wrote in a recent piece: “There are now five unemployed workers for every job opening in the United States. The ranks of the poor are growing, welfare rolls are rising” and young male workers over a broad front “are falling into an abyss of joblessness.”... Posted Jul 3, 2009

A. Philip Randolph, a great union and civil rights leader, met Franklin D. Roosevelt and told him he had the power to take action against racism. Roosevelt told Randolph, “Make me do it.” And it is said that Roosevelt told CIO head John L. Lewis, “Make me,” when Lewis demanded jobs for the unemployed. If a progressive, class-consciousness movement of workers and activists does not try to intervene to fight for real jobs, then the right wing will take advantage of unemployment.... Posted Jun 13, 2009

More than a million and a half workers in the United States have lost their jobs since last December. Some 345,000 lost their jobs in May. Unemployment is at 9.4 percent and headed up to more than 10 percent. Well over 25 million workers are out of work or underemployed. Long-term unemployment is at a record. Nevertheless, Washington has given General Motors and Chrysler $17 billion as a reward for shutting down 22 plants, tearing up union contracts and closing 3,000 dealerships. And the government has promised billions more to the auto barons. These cruel measures will sharply aggravate the unemployment crisis across the country and bring further hardship to those still working. They must be stopped.... Posted Jun 10, 2009

When North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue announced that all state workers would be mandated to take 10 unpaid hours off to help balance the budget, many workers began discussing how they could collectively withhold their labor by organizing to take the same time periods off. Then the state legislature began discussing furloughs of up to 20 days for all state workers. But that plan was soon taken off the table after seeing the mass outrage it caused.... Posted May 31, 2009

The crisis in the auto industry is spreading like wildfire. Beside the 25,000 workers laid off because of the latest wave of plant closings at General Motors and Chrysler, many others are impacted. Notices have gone out to 800 Chrysler and 1,100 GM dealers that their franchise agreements will not be renewed. A total of 103,000 mechanics, salespeople and other workers could lose their jobs.... Posted May 20, 2009

There are so many people eager, desperate, to find work. And we’ve all heard about the trillions of dollars given to Wall Street to pep up the economy—which hasn’t worked. Trillions! Who ever heard of such huge numbers before this crisis!... Posted May 3, 2009

Workers on the shop floor know what is in store when they hear “lean, mean and competitive.” It was the bosses, now crying poverty, who paid auto workers to attend compulsory classes on “lean manufacturing.” What they call lean—which is supposed to mean less fat—in reality means tearing out the heart of shop floor operations: the hourly worker.... Posted Apr 12, 2009

While talk about signs of a possible economic recovery drove the stock market up for four weeks in a row, beginning March 10, it is clear that the recovery being talked about was a recovery of the bosses and bankers, not the workers. Three quarters of a million workers lost their jobs during those four weeks.... Posted Apr 9, 2009

The loss of 651,000 more jobs in February and the jump in the official unemployment rate to 8.1 percent have produced important admissions in the capitalist press that every worker should pay close attention to.... Posted Mar 12, 2009

The global financial crisis is forcing emerging and underdeveloped economies throughout Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia to take a double whammy. Economic instability and corresponding job losses at home are compounded by a severe decline in remittances from the migrant workers who serve as a super-exploited segment of the working class in the industrialized capitalist economies of the United States, Western Europe and Japan.... Posted Feb 12, 2009

The record wave of layoffs that seemed to peak in December is continuing into 2009. At the same time, hundreds of billions of dollars in aid are flowing from Washington to the banks and corporations, not to the unemployed. Reviving corporate profits has taken precedence over providing desperately needed jobs or calling for an immediate end to foreclosures and evictions.... Posted Jan 25, 2009

In the first week of January, as the number of workers filing new claims reached a 26-year high and the U.S. unemployment rate climbed to 7.2 percent, the job center computer systems in New York, North Carolina and Ohio crashed.... Posted Jan 18, 2009

The intensifying capitalist crisis, which is bringing greater and greater suffering daily, is leaving the workers and the oppressed with no alternative but to organize a fightback. The deadly waves of unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness, hunger and repression are spreading while the ruling-class politicians and experts debate over the terms of the so-called “stimulus package.”... Posted Jan 15, 2009

Three-quarters of a million workers have already been laid off this year, bringing the official total of unemployed to over 9 million. Trillions of dollars in retirement funds have been wiped out in the stock market in the last few months. Over 10,000 households a day are being foreclosed, and evictions are rampant. Money for student loans has dried up. Credit card debt is at a record high. Unemployment is rising along with food, utility and gas prices. Production and sales are falling relentlessly. The forecast is for things to get worse—a lot worse.... Posted Oct 26, 2008

You need a job to keep a roof over your head, feed yourself and your family, and pay the bills. Everyone needs a job or other source of income to survive. Having a job is a basic necessity. It's a simple human right.... Posted Apr 12, 2008

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