Crisis? What Crisis? – Petras

Crisis. What Crisis?  Profits Soar!

James Petras

While progressives and leftists write about the “crises of capitalism”, manufacturers, petroleum companies, bankers and most other major corporations on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific coast are chuckling all the way to the bank.

From the first quarter of this year, corporate profits have shot up between twenty to over a hundred percent, (Financial Times August 10, 2010, p. 7).  In fact, corporate profits have risen higher than they were before the onset of the recession in 2008 (Money Morning March 31, 2010).  Contrary to progressive bloggers the rates of profits are rising not falling, particularly among the biggest corporations (Consensus Economics, August 12, 2010).  The buoyancy of corporate profits is directly a result of the deepening crises of the working class, public and private employees and small and medium size enterprises. Continue reading


A New Type of Political Organization? – Rosenfield and Fanelli

A New Type of Political Organization?

The Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly

Herman Rosenfeld and Carlo Fanelli

Socialist Project E-Bulletin No. 400, August 6, 2010

At the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Left around the world is undergoing reformation. As the Great Recession has vividly demonstrated, more than three decades of neoliberal capitalism have eroded many of the significant gains won in the immediate decades following World War II. From wage and benefit concessions to reductions in social services, in an openly anti-union political climate, it is now being demanded that the working class pay for a crisis which it did not create. With the impasse of the anti-globalization and other new social movements that burst onto the scene in the early 2000s, coupled with the inability of many historically progressive unions, trapped in erstwhile social democratic parties, to mobilize their membership base, the Left is in a period of experimentation. Continue reading

Victory for An Excluded and Invisible Workforce – Fletcher

Victory For An Excluded And Invisible Workforce

Domestic Workers In New York Win Historic Victory!

July 23, 2010

By Bill Fletcher

Bill Fletcher’s ZSpace Page

“Long constituting a vast secret economy in New York,” as described by the New York Times, domestic workers won a striking victory in righting a wrong in labor laws that has hung, like an albatross, around the necks of hundreds of thousands of workers.  Signing into law the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, New York Governor David Paterson has set in motion a complete rethinking of the status and conditions of nearly invisible, yet indispensible, workforce.

The gist of the legislation is more than impressive.  It establishes an eight hour legal work day; over time at time and a half after 40 hours for live-out domestic workers and 44 hours for live-in domestic workers; one day of rest in each calendar week; overtime pay on that day of rest if the worker chooses to work; after one year of employment three paid days off; workplace protection against discrimination, sexual harassment, and other forms of harassment; workers compensation; and the completion of a study by November 2010 of the feasibility of establishing organizing for collective bargaining. Continue reading

Once More Around the Bloc – Canadian Dimension

Canadian Dimension editorial Sept/Oct 2010 | July 27th 2010

Once more around the Bloc

tactics, democracy, and mass politics

Our democratic freedoms hang by a narrow thread, and a police state is always near at hand — that is one of the lessons of the G20 debacle that unfolded in Toronto on June 26 and 27. The federal government spent a billion dollars on security and deployed 19,500 police on the streets of downtown Toronto. Activist groups were infiltrated, and organizers were targeted for preemptive arrest. Despite the overwhelming police presence, a small number of smashed windows and burning police cars shown on constant loop by TV news were enough to persuade much of the population that police violence and the arbitrary arrest of more than 1000 people were justified. Continue reading

Val-Inco Strike Comes to a Close- Neigh

Socialist  Project - home The   B u l l e t Socialist  Project - home
Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 395
July 23, 2010

One Day Longer?

The Vale-Inco Strike Comes to a Close

Scott Neigh

On July 7 and 8, 2010, striking members of United Steel Workers Local 6500 in Sudbury, Ontario, voted 75% in favour of a contract that ended a bitter strike against transnational mining giant Vale Inco. The 3300 strikers had been on the picket lines for almost one year (along with members of Local 6200 in Port Colborne, Ontario, who voted in favour by a similar margin).

Despite the immense effort and sacrifices made by workers over the course of the year-long ordeal, the settlement marks a defeat for a local with a reputation for strength in a town with a history of solidarity. It is a hard moment for those who are returning to work – who endured so much and still lost significant ground – but as the world faces the renewed neoliberal assault promised by leaders at the recent G20 summit in Toronto, it is important to ask critical questions that might strengthen all of our struggles in the difficult times ahead. Continue reading

US Social Forum a Mechanism for Change – Becker

U.S. Social Forum a Mechanism for Change

Written by Marc Becker
Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Fifteen thousand social movement activists descended on Detroit during the fourth week of June for the second United States Social Forum (USSF) to discuss and debate proposals for how to build a better world. The slogan for the forum added “Another Detroit is happening” to the previous USSF slogan “Another US is necessary” and the standard World Social Forum (WSF) insistence that “Another world is possible.” Continue reading

“Excluded Workers” Move from the Shadows – Thompson

“Excluded Workers” Move from Shadows to Negotiating Table

Posted on 25 June 2010 by editor

(Right to left) Felix Salvador, Mackenzie Baris, Christian Vasquez and Socorro Garcia came from Washington to highlight excluded workers’ plight. Credit: Bankole Thompson/IPS TerraViva

By Bankole Thompson

DETROIT, Jun 24, 2010 (IPS TerraViva) – The U.S. labour movement needs to be reorganised from the bottom up to include domestic workers, day labourers, restaurant workers, taxi drivers, farm workers, incarcerated workers, guest workers and those in the “right to work” states. Continue reading