from The Great Debate:

Like nails on a chalkboard: How hard-fought labor reforms have been lost

By Terry Golway
May 18, 2015

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Credit: Creative Commons

After the New York Times ran a searing two-part investigation into the exploitation and job-related health problems of the state’s nail-salon workers earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered emergency measures to protect them and appointed a special review panel to recommend long-term reforms. The Times series painted a portrait of an immigrant workforce laboring in dangerous conditions and for pitiful wages -- in some cases paying salon owners for the opportunity to make $10, or less, a day.

from The Great Debate:

Why the 2016 GOP race may be all about taking down unions

By Thomas Geoghegan
May 6, 2015

Wisconsin Governor Walker holds a news conference at the state Capitol in Madison

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker holds a news conference at the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, February 25, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Hauck

from The Great Debate:

Want a healthy middle class? Bring back the long-term career.

By Lynn Stuart Parramore
January 28, 2015

Job seekers wait to meet with employers at a career fair in New York City

Job seekers wait to meet with employers at a career fair in New York City, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar

from The Great Debate:

Here’s what it will take for Americans to start getting pay raises

By Robert Kuttner
October 13, 2014

Demonstrators rally to raise the hourly minimum wage for fast-food workers at City Hall in Seattle

What will it really take to give America a raise?

A lot of well-credentialed policy experts have been writing nonsense about why Americans can’t be paid more.

from The Great Debate:

It’s harder to reach the American dream if you’re reaching all alone

By Robert L. Borosage
August 29, 2014

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“Hours of chaos” is how the New York Times described the work reality of more and more Americans. It highlighted Jannette Navarra, a Starbucks barrista, who is regularly forced to work part-time with fluctuating hours. She usually gets her work schedule three days ahead of the workweek, so she is always scrambling to arrange childcare for her son. Any hope Navarra has of advancing by pursuing a degree is shattered by her inability to schedule classes.

from The Great Debate:

How Uber can help the GOP gain control of the cities

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
July 7, 2014

Taxi drivers protest against transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft along with Assembly Bill 2293 at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California

Republicans occupy the governor’s mansion in a majority of states and control both chambers of state legislatures where a majority of Americans live. In a country that is becoming more urban, however, Democrats have a major advantage: Their party runs most big U.S. cities. Of the 15 largest U.S. cities, only two -- San Diego and Indianapolis -- have Republican mayors, and 13 of the 15 have Democratic-controlled city councils.

from The Great Debate:

Today’s South is boldly moving backward

By Nelson Lichtenstein
June 18, 2014

mahurin for bishop

We used to call it the “New South.” That was the era after Reconstruction and before the Civil Rights laws -- when the states of the old Confederacy seemed most determined to preserve a social and economic order that encouraged low-wage industrialization as they fought to maintain Jim Crow.

from The Great Debate UK:

The Consumer Student

By Guest Contributor
April 2, 2014

--Priyamvada Gopal is a University Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of English and Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge. The opinions expressed are her own.--

from The Great Debate:

The college football assembly line

By Nelson Lichtenstein
April 2, 2014

Here’s a tale of two factories and the way the public feels about those who labor there. Nothing could be more iconic than an automobile factory where workers put in eight or more hours a day on the assembly line. The work is boring, the pace unrelenting and injuries are not uncommon, but the pay is better than working in fast food or at Wal-Mart. Volkswagen’s modern, efficient Chattanooga factory is such a place.

from The Great Debate:

FDR set the terms for labor executive orders

By Dorian T. Warren
February 26, 2014

Many critics have called President Barack Obama’s executive order raising the minimum wage for federally contracted workers an unprecedented bold action. The president bypassed a gridlocked Congress to increase pay to $10.10 an hour -- and raise labor standards for the only federal workers directly within his authority.