Maida Springer isn’t a household name even among trade unionists and labor historians. But she was a lifelong union member and organizer who was committed to using unions to improve black people’s lives in the United States and Africa.
Paul Prescod is a high school social studies teacher and member of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
We talk with historian Matt Karp about how ending our great age of inequality will take a renewed working-class politics.
The Disney cartoonists and animators’ strike that began at a California studio on May 29, 1941, forever changed the labor standards of an industry — and inspired cultural workers to take greater ownership over their labor.
The Philadelphia union leader Wendell Young III straddled the worlds of the labor movement born out of the New Deal and the social movements of the New Left. He believed that uniting these two worlds in struggle could transform the United States.
Labor has suffered defeat after defeat in recent years, especially when it comes to the steady expansion of state-level right-to-work bills. But earlier this month, the state of Montana bucked that trend — by defeating right-to-work.
Workers’ pensions have been under attack for decades in the United States, so the passage of pension relief for over a million workers as part of the latest COVID-19 relief bill is a welcome development. Now we need to fight to defend and expand pensions for all workers.
We can’t win and carry out a Green New Deal without winning building trades workers and unions to an environmentalist agenda that also benefits them. New York’s recently announced massive investment in offshore wind, high-speed rail, and more, backed by both labor and environmental groups, shows how it can be done.
In his first presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to bring back manufacturing jobs with good pay. Those promises were empty. But Democrats haven’t been much better on industrial policy recent decades. Socialists need to fight for a real industrial policy.
Donald Trump tries to portray himself as pro-worker. Nowhere is this absurdity better exposed than in the decisions of his National Labor Relations Board, which have over and over again favored bosses rather than workers.
The USPS is under assault at the very moment we need a functioning postal service to hold a free and fair election. We can defend electoral democracy by defending the post office.
Thinking about racism as some kind of existential “original sin” that will always be with us no matter what we do, no matter what efforts we undertake to fight it, is a political dead end. Through organizing, we have struck blows against racism in the past — we can do so again today.
As the financial crisis worsens, public-sector employment is coming under heavy fire — for black people in particular. Fighting budget cuts and layoffs in public-sector jobs like the post office and public transit must be an essential piece of the fight for black lives.
With the push to reopen public schools amid a still-raging pandemic, many teachers are sounding the alarm. We spoke with one Philadelphia high school teacher who has been organizing his coworkers — and the end result may be a massive strike.
Unemployment in the US is skyrocketing, with the Federal Reserve predicting a long-term unemployment rate of 10 percent. Creating quality jobs for all who want it should be the chief concern of the federal government, not the bogeyman of inflation.
As the Left attempts to chart a new course in the wake of the Bernie Sanders campaign, there’s no better time to learn from America’s most underrated socialist, labor leader, and civil rights legend, A. Philip Randolph.
Joe Biden has been touting black capitalism as part of the path to racial equality. The strategy remains as futile today as when Richard Nixon pushed it fifty years ago.
The power of organized labor won the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 49 years ago today. That victory has saved thousands of lives in workplaces across the country — but we need to think even bigger than regulatory reforms now.
Martin Luther King Jr died supporting striking black sanitation workers in the South. Less than a decade later, a black Atlanta mayor and King’s own father were attacking that same group of workers and breaking their strike. Black urban governance is meaningless without a commitment to strengthening the public sector and rejecting the logic of austerity.
Both Richard Nixon and Donald Trump have made cynical but shrewdly strategic appeals to building trades unions and their members. The Left needs a plan to win those workers back.
The Root’s laughable rankings of the Democratic candidates on their approach to black issues — assembled by an anonymous panel of experts — show just how out of touch many pundits are with the actually existing black electorate.