Labor

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What Really Happened To Detroit?

This week, Communist Party USA Chairman Sam Webb penned an exploratory piece for People’s World about the situation in Detroit.  “Detroit: Through the lens of class and race” aims to combat some of the extreme lines of thinking prevailing in the media concerning Detroit’s terrible situation, and Webb offers some clear answers on why this occurred – and how it will continue to happen in other cities in the United States.  An important piece for anyone looking for answers in this distressing time, Webb outlines exactly how Detroit was put in this predicament and how the citizens have suffered greatly.  Webb pulls no punches in his analysis, leveling blame at the feet of auto executives, real estate brokers, and elected officials.

Blaming the crisis on its victims is designed to divert the eyes of the American people from the actual causes of the crisis and its agents. The former are located in the structures and dynamics of racialized capitalism, while the latter are the individuals and institutions who drive the crisis and also enrich themselves mightily from this system of class and racial exploitation and domination of the immense many by the minuscule few.

But he doesn’t just levy blame in his article – he offers a clear solution to help in the resurrection of this once-great city.

The near- and long-term struggles of the people of Detroit have to be connected to the energies of like-minded people in nearby suburbs and around the country who also aspire to radically restructure the politics, economics, culture, and racial relations of their city, region, state, and country.

Webb’s piece can be found here.  It is an essential read.


Palermo’s “Hard To Swallow”

The struggles at Palermo’s has been going on for over a year now – what’s the latest on this local struggle?  People’s World profiled the workers and their strike last month, offering outsiders a glimpse into how this all began.

“Palermo’s factory workers are often recent immigrants, but despite their vulnerable position they banded together and presented their employer with a petition, signed by 150 workers, stating their intent to unionize so they could effectively discuss issues of safety, health and wages. The company responded, not by pulling up a chair to the negotiating table, but rather by calling for an “immigration audit” that would require workers to produce additional documents to verify their legal status.”

Check out the rest of the article here.


When “America’s Dairyland” Ran Out of Milk

Over at People’s World, there is a fantastic article about a local labor issue at Golden Guernsey Dairy of Waukesha.

“In September 2011 the plant was acquired by a California outfit known as ‘OpenGate Capital.’ This is the sort of Romneyesque outfit that Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry once blasted as engaging in “vulture capitalism”.  It seems the folks at OpenGate have been sharpening their pencils and checking the bottom line ever since the purchase and despite sales increasing by 20 percent they thought the quickest way to a sure profit was to shut it down, and quickly.”

Read the rest of the article here.


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