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Tag Archives: Aaron Brenner

Books

REBEL, RANK AND FILE

NEW TITLE FROM VERSO
Edited by AARON BRENNER, ROBERT BRENNER and CAL WINSLOW
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“Extraordinary reflections….this collection dramatically reasserts the role of rank-and-file revolt in shaping American labor history and offers rich lessons to contemporary rebels.” Mike Davis

“Truly shines … By uncovering the hidden history of the 1970s, REBEL RANK AND FILE reminds us that there is another path to union renewal—a path firmly rooted in the workplace and motivated by visions of transforming society.”
– Joe Burns, IN THESE TIMES
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From the mid-1960s to 1981, rank-and-file workers in the United States engaged in a level of sustained militancy not seen since the Great Depression and World War II. Millions participated in one of the largest strike waves in US history. There were 5,716 stoppages in 1970 alone, involving more than 3 million workers. Contract rejections, collective insubordination, sabotage, organized slowdowns, and wildcat strikes were the order of the day.
Workers targeted much of their activity at union leaders, forming caucuses to fight for more democratic and combative unions that would forcefully resist the mounting offensive from employers that appeared at the end of the postwar economic boom. It was a remarkable era in the history of US class struggle, one rich in lessons for today’s labor movement.

The labor struggles in this period have been somewhat overlooked by historians, making this the first in-depth and comprehensive account. The period included strikes which had a significant and lasting impact, such as the Memphis sanitation workers strike which broke the back of racial inequality in the workplace, and the West Virginia coal miners strike which forced the passage of Black Lung legislation.

The struggles in this time also blazed a trail for a new radical and grassroots trade unionism which incorporated demands for racial and sexual equality and challenging entrenched bureaucracies within the union movement itself. The challenge to union bureaucracies led to some remarkable episodes, such as the attempt by UAW leaders to break a wildcat strike at Chrysler’s Mack Avenue stamping plant in Detroit by mobilizing one thousand armed officials and loyalists.

The struggles in this period challenge common assumptions about the US working class – that it is naturally conservative, nationalistic and inward looking. It recaptures a time when millions of ordinary working people engaged in militant action against workplace exploitation, racism and sexism. The book also includes a number of remarkable photographs of the those involved in the struggles by the veteran photojournalist Earl Dotter, a sample of which can be viewed at www.earldotter.com .
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REBEL, RANK AND FILE contains contributions from, in addition to the editors, Judith Stein, Kim Moody, Frank Bardacke, Paul J. Nyden, Dan La Botz, Marjorie Murphy, A. C. Jones, Kieran Taylor, Dorothy Sue Cobble and Steve Early.
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Praise for REBEL RANK AND FILE:

“An important collection … honest and thoughtful.”
– WORLD WIDE WORK

“This is an unusually high-quality effort, with an all-star cast of authors, which should attract wide interest.”
– Nelson Lichtenstein, Professor of History at University of California Santa Barbara

“Bracing and often electrifying … A primer and a call to arms for a radical rank-and-file politics.”
– Michael Watts, Professor of Geography and Development Studies at UC Berkeley
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Aaron Brenner is President of Rank & File Enterprises, a financial and labor research firm. Robert Brenner is Director of the Center for Social Theory and Comparative History at UCLA. He is the author of THE BOOM AND THE BUBBLE, MERCHANTS AND REVOLUTION, THE ECONOMICS OF GLOBAL TURBULENCE. Cal Winslow is Director of the Mendocino Institute and Fellow in Environmental Politics, UC Berkeley.
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ISBN: 978 1 84467 174 8 / $29.95 / £19.99 / CAN$37.50 / Paperback / 432 Pages
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For more information and to buy the book visit:
http://www.versobooks.com/books/282-rebel-rank-and-file
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Work, work, work

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION AND WORK – UPDATE 11th DECEMBER 2010

EVENTS

LATEST APCOL (ANTI-POVERTY COMMUNITY ORGANIZING AND LEARNING – CSEW’S MAJOR PROJECT) NEWSLETTER ONLINE

The latest APCOL newsletter featuring updates on project activities as well as articles focused on community anti-poverty issues and activism can be found at http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/apcol/Newsletter/index.html.

A new feature on the APCOL web site – an interactive Google map showing the neighbourhoods where APCOL is active with links to community sites. Check it out at http://www.apcol.ca/Activity_Map.html.

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WORKERS ASSEMBLY FOURTH COFFEEHOUSE – ANTI-CAPITALISM AND ELECTORAL POLITICS: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Friday, December 17
7:00pm – 10:00pm
Regal Beagle Pub (back room)
335 Bloor St. West, Toronto

Speakers:
– Mary-Jo Nadeau – Coordinating Committee, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid; university teacher and writer
– Ajamu Nangwaya – Labour, community and anti-racist activist
– Elizabeth Rowley – Communist Party electoral candidate in various federal elections, including 2004 and 2006

Join us to consider the politics of elections and the left. Following introductions from diverse perspectives, join us in a free-flowing discussion addressing strategy, points of unity and difference in our movements, and the potential of the GTWA in these discussions and actions.

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VOTE FOR J4MW (JUSTICIA FOR MIGRANT WORKERS) FOR LABOUR PHOTO OF THE YEAR!

Labour Start’s panel of judges comprised of David Bacon, Gretchen Donart and Mac Urata selected 5 photos that best captures workers’ struggles this year. And our Pilgrimage to Freedom is one of them!  Please take a moment to vote for the powerful picture on the left taken by Gerrardo Correa of our migrant brothers and sisters who led this historic action. Please distribute widely on your lists, twitter, Facebook and any online tools to spread the word far and wide.

Deadline for voting: Dec. 31, midnight

http://www.labourstart.org/lpoty/

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INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY

December 18
3pm – 7pm
George Brown College, St. James Campus
290 Adelaide St. East
3rd Floor, Room 303 – Theatre

Join us in celebrating International Migrants Day, organized by a network of various migrant workers groups and allies.  Cultural performances through popular theatre, dance and music, mural painting, and photo exhibits will be the highlight of the celebration.

We will celebrate victories won, affirm the right of migrant workers to self-organize, and strengthen the bonds of solidarity with all workers. There will be a report back, through video, by delegates from the recently-concluded International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees held in Mexico City as well as photo exhibits of the Pilgrimage to Freedom last November.

Food and refreshments will be provided.

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LAUNCHING THE SOCIALIST REGISTER 2011!

Thursday, January 20th
7 PM
Lula Lounge
1585 Dundas St. W., west of Dufferin, Toronto
416 588 0307 http://www.lulalounge.ca

with panel discussion with local contributors:
Greg Albo, Bryan Evans, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin

Doors open at 6, dinner and drinks available.

Sponsored by: York University Book Store, Fernwood Books, the Socialist Project, and the Socialist Register.

For more information please contact: fpeters@yorku.ca

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WORKSHOP – JANE FINCH ACTION AGAINST POVERTY: RAISING THE RATES & RESTORING THE SPECIAL DIET ALLOWANCE

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
6:30 to 8:30 pm
Black Creek Community Health Centre
2nd Floor, Yorkgate Mall
(Jane Street, north of Finch Ave.)

Childcare and TTC tickets available
Dinner will be served

All community residents, community workers and union members are invited to a workshop on:

Why raising the rate of social assistance should matter to all of us?
What can we do to restore the Special Diet Allowance?

Presentations by CUPE and OCAP

Social assistance rates are way below the poverty line, and it has remained virtually unchanged since 1995 where Mike Harris government slashed assistant rate by almost 22%.  People on social assistance are now about 40% to 50% worse off than those in 1995.  In addition, the McGuinty government has decided to restrict its $250 special diet allowance to social assistance recipients with a medically verified need for extra money for special diet. According to the Toronto Star, those with “ineligible” aliments (such as cardiovascular disease and impaired glucose tolerance) or hungry kids or no cash left when the rent is paid will be cut off.  Thousands of recipients will be affected by these changes.

Jane-Finch community has had one of the highest rates of application as well as denial of special diet allowance.

Social assistance rates need to be increased to the above poverty line and the Special Diet Allowance restored immediately.

Organized by Jane Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP)

In partnership with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

For more information, please contact janefinchactionagainstpoverty@gmail.com
or leave us a voicemail at 416-760-2677.

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NEWS & VIEWS

CORPORATE GREED IS ERODING FOUNDATIONS OF A JUST SOCIETY

by John Cartwright, Toronto Star

Not long ago, a wealthy stockbroker drives by nine men who have been locked out of their jobs at the First Canadian Place. He stops his luxury car, gets out, and utters the words that explain his attitude to their plight.

“The watch I’m wearing is worth more than you earn in a year. Get out of my way!”

(John Cartwright is President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council.)

Read more: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/905536–corporate-greed-is-eroding-foundations-of-a-just-society

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NEW BOOK – REBEL RANK AND FILE

Rebel Rank and File: Labor Militancy and Revolt from Below During the Long 1970s, edited by Aaron Brenner, Robert Brenner, and Cal Winslow

The hidden story of the 1970s insurgency from below, against employers and bureaucrats.

From the mid-1960s to 1981, rank-and-file workers in the United States engaged in a level of sustained militancy not seen since the Great Depression and World War II. Millions participated in one of the largest strike waves in US history. There were 5,716 stoppages in 1970 alone, involving more than 3 million workers. Contract rejections, collective insubordination, sabotage, organized slowdowns, and wildcat strikes were the order of the day.

Read more: http://www.versobooks.com/books/282-rebel-rank-and-file

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FREE TRANSIT AND MOVEMENT BUILDING

by Rebecca Schein, The Bullet

The demonstrations surrounding the G20 summit in Toronto unfolded more or less as scripted. Demonstrators marched peacefully along a designated route through deserted downtown streets. A few people broke windows and set fire to abandoned police cars. Police made full use of their brand new riot gear and special legal powers. A thousand arrests. Denunciations of police lawlessness and brutality. Calls for a public inquiry. Denunciations of vandalism. Calls for solidarity. And of course, the perennial lament that the voices and messages of labour and civil society were lost in the clamor.

(Rebecca Schein teaches in the Human Rights Program at Carleton University.)

Read more: http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/438.php

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ORGANIZING TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS

by Jill Hanley & Eric Shragge, Social Policy

Canada’s immigration system has been shifting towards the use of temporary foreign worker programs to respond to a business demand for a low paid, compliant labor force, a trend that can be observed across OECD countries. This form of migration puts workers at risk of abusive economic conditions and undermines the strength of the workers who are permanent residents. The conditions faced by these workers are at best difficult, with little legal protection in practice.

How can global south-to-north migrant workers defend themselves from abuse and have equal working conditions?

(Jill Hanley is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, McGill University, Montreal. Eric Shragge teaches in the School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University, Montreal.)

Read more: http://www.socialpolicy.org/index.php/component/content/article/4-latest-issue/370-organizing-temporary-foreign-workers

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OUR WORKING LIVES AFFECT OUR HEALTH

by The Wellesley Institute

Our working lives are an essential contributor to what keeps us healthy and what makes us sick. In this recent release, Work and Health: Exploring the impact of employment on health disparities, Sheila Block, the Wellesley Institute’s new Director of Economic Analysis, delves into the linkages between labour market policies, employment conditions, working conditions and health disparities.

Read more: http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/news/our-working-lives-affect-our-health/

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CANADA’S RICHEST 1% TAKING MORE THAN EVER BEFORE

by Canadian Centre on Policy Alternatives

A major report by CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan shows Canada’s richest 1% enjoy more of the gains from economic growth than ever before in recorded history.

The report looks at income trends over the past 90 years, revealing the richest 1% took 32% of all growth in incomes between 1997 and 2007 – the biggest piece of action any generation of Canadians has taken.

You have to go all the way back to the 1920s to find a similar trend, and even then, the richest 1% didn’t take so large a share of income.

Read more: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/updates/canadas-richest-1-taking-more-ever

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ONLINE JOURNAL ARTICLES

ORGANIZED LABOR, NUCLEAR POWER, AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE CANADIAN AND U.S. LABOR MOVEMENTS
Larry Savage and Dennis Soron
Labor Studies Journal published 8 December 2010
http://lsj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0160449X10389746v1

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CULTURE AS STRUCTURE IN EMERGING CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS IN RUSSIA
Sarah Busse Spencer
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly published 29 November 2010  
http://nvs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0899764010384140v1

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CANADIAN AUTOWORKERS, THE CLIMATE CRISIS, AND THE CONTRADICTIONS OF SOCIAL
UNIONISM
Derek Hrynyshyn and Stephanie Ross
Labor Studies Journal published 29 November 2010
http://lsj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0160449X10389747v1

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FROM AWARENESS TO ACTION ON THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
Spencer Moore
International Journal of Public Health, Vol. 55, Issue 6
http://www.springerlink.com/content/n24kj884563x27q2/fulltext.html

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ABOUT CSEW (CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION & WORK, OISE/UT):
Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education.

For more information about CSEW, visit: http://www.csew.ca

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com