It has been the worst of times and the best of times for the American Labor Movement in 2018.
Economic inequality has continued to spiral out of control as policy coming out of Washington, DC designed to tilt the scales in favor of the rich and corporations weakened the rights of working Americans at every turn. At the Supreme Court level, anti-labor justices joined the assault against labor and undermined public sector unions’ rights to collect dues. This, combined with a tax bill that radically redistributed wealth upward and paved the way for new austerity measures aimed at gutting Social Security and Medicare, had some pundits sounding the death knell for unions and the legacy of the New Deal.
But in the midst of all this dire news, a funny thing happened: workers fought back in the unlikeliest of places. West Virginia, Arizona, and Oklahoma were hit by massive teacher strikes and huge protests demanding higher pay for educators, better conditions for students, and an end to the underfunding of public education.
They shocked the world and won. [Read more…]