Thousands of home care workers in New York are forced to work twenty-four-hour shifts while being paid for only half the time. That’s outrageous — and on International Women’s Day, we should heed their call in taking up the struggle for control over our time.
Jamie McCallum is associate professor of sociology at Middlebury College and the author, most recently, of Worked Over: How Round-the-Clock Work Is Killing the American Dream.
Workers in the United States have lost control of perhaps the most important aspect of their lives: their time. Getting that time back is crucial — for workers’ well-being, for democracy, and for weakening the tyrannical power of the boss.
The failure to provide meaningful work to the vast majority of the population is a powerful indictment of our economic system — one more promise capitalism makes but can’t keep.
We’re working longer hours than in decades. But we don’t have to. We deserve a more democratic economy in which we have the free time to develop our talents, hang out with friends and family, and do whatever else we please.
In Portland, federal agents have been snatching up protesters while hyper-militarized police crack down on demonstrators. It’s a frightening display of state repression — one with roots in the attacks on the anti-corporate globalization movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
After 2009, GM used its $10.3 billion bailout to slash labor costs and undercut the union. Now, it’s cut off health care for tens of thousands of striking workers. But GM’s greed is only pushing strikers to fight harder than ever.
Like academic workers around the country, graduate workers and non-tenure track faculty at Marquette University want a union to end low wages and high health care costs. And like university administrations around the country, Marquette is fighting them.
As socialists, we believe that all ideas are political. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t subject our claims to rigorous, empirical scrutiny.
The North Carolina teachers strike was the result of years of grassroots organizing. And they’re not done yet.
Unions will have to go back to the fundamentals of labor organizing if they want to survive national right to work.