Nice Unions Finish Last — on the UAW’s recent defeat in Chattanooga



I have an op-ed in Al Jazeera America today on the United Auto Workers’ recent defeat at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. I wish I could take credit for the title, “Nice Unions Finish Last,” but alas, I cannot. Take a read.


Is Fight for 15 for Real?


I organized a roundtable discussion on the Fight for 15 fast food strikers campaign with Chicago Whole Foods worker Trish Kahle, former SEIU staffer and author Jane McAlevey, and International Longshore and Warehouse Union organizing director Peter Olney. In it, the panelists discuss some of recent criticisms of the campaign as top-down and PR-driven. You can read it here

Fast Food Strikes Hit a Record 58 Cities, As Campaign’s Tactics Are Debated


Fast food workers struck in 58 cities on Thursday. I followed Chicago strikers around throughout the day, and wrote about some of the debates over the campaign’s organizing tactics here.  


The End of the Longest Strike in America



The longest strike in America ended yesterday, with UNITE HERE Local 1, the union representing Chicago hospitality workers, deciding to end their strike at the Congress Hotel in downtown Chicago after a decade. The strike was a fixture of the Chicago landscape, almost like a living landmark. I wrote some reflections about its end, which you can read here.

After Fighting Rahm Emanuel on Layoffs, Airport Janitors Demand New Union

After a yearlong battle with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose administration’s choice of a nonunion contractor for janitorial services at O’Hare Airport led to almost 300 layoffs of unionized janitors there, the new nonunion janitors demanded union recognition from their employer this week. I wrote about it yesterday for Working In These Times.

Two pieces on Chicago fast food and retail strikes

Photo by Bob Simpson.

Photo by Bob Simpson.

I think I’m still recovering from chasing around Chicago fast food and retail strikers since 4:30 AM on Wednesday. I wrote two pieces about them: one a general piece about the strikes for The Nation that came out the day of the action; read that one here. The other is a kind of post-strike analysis for Dissent–read that one here.

On the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare

I attended the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare’s conference in Chicago to cover it for The Nation a few weeks back. The article is up now–read it here. Of particular interest is the successful campaign for single payer in Vermont, and how other states are beginning to take lessons from it.