Stories by Michelle Chen

Michelle Chen is a contributing editor to In These Times and a regular contributor to the labor rights blog Working In These Times, and Pacifica’s WBAI. Follow her on Twitter at @meeshellchen or reach her at michellechen @ subscribe to Michelle Chen's feed

Posted on: Jun 23, 2014, Source: The Guardian

There's a potential downside to the coffee chain's plan to offer a partial tuition discount to its non-union workers.

Posted on: Jun 16, 2014, Source: The Guardian

Saddling students with unsustainable debts is only a symptom of the deeper erosion within higher education.

Posted on: May 26, 2014, Source: The Nation

The heavy borrowing of colleges, often for questionable purposes, is accounting for the rising cost of higher education

Posted on: Jul 23, 2013, Source: In These Times

A new study shows that none of the factories under review provided their workers with adequate safety equipment.

Posted on: Jul 10, 2013, Source: In These Times

Wildfires consume twice as much land annually as they did forty years ago, but cuts to the Forest Service's Fire and Aviation Management limit the response.

Posted on: Oct 7, 2012, Source: In These Times

It all starts with a little solidarity.

Posted on: Oct 4, 2012, Source: In These Times

Two critical bills for workers, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and the Trust Act, were vetoed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown over the weekend. What now?

Posted on: Sep 30, 2012, Source: In These Times

When pregnancy comes up as a political issue, lawmakers are far more fixated on what an expecting mom's womb is doing, rather than how she's managing to pay the bills.

Posted on: Sep 8, 2012, Source: In These Times

The real scandal is that both parties have made kicking the poor a prerequisite to winning office.

Posted on: Aug 29, 2012, Source: In These Times

Apple wants you to know it’s working hard to fix the biggest bruise on its reputation: the treatment of workers in its vast production chain. But the changes are mostly cosmetic.

Posted on: Aug 26, 2012, Source: In These Times

A new analysis of job quality confirms what many of us already suspected: Good jobs are vanishing from the United States, leaving workers stranded on a barren economic landscape.

Posted on: Aug 23, 2012, Source: In These Times

As part of a push for a statewide Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, the workers are using all kinds of creative tactics to call attention to their often-ignored working conditions.

Posted on: Aug 21, 2012, Source: AlterNet

From gang life to migrant workers, this Brooklyn photographer gives voice to people who don't often have one.

Posted on: Aug 19, 2012, Source: In These Times

Temporary relief from deportation could open the door to more exploitation of young immigrants, but it could also further embolden them to agitate in public for economic justice and human rights.

Posted on: Aug 16, 2012, Source: In These Times

Evidence has been building over the years of a respiratory illness primarily afflicting factory workers exposed to the microwave-popcorn butter flavorant, diacetyl (DA).

Posted on: Aug 5, 2012, Source: In These Times

A new bill in Congress would give the Mine Safety and Health Administration broader powers to keep corporations like Massey from abusing workers and risking their lives.

Posted on: Jul 29, 2012, Source: In These Times

The Restaurant Opportunities Center has been fighting and winning battles for waiters and other restaurant staff around the country.

Posted on: Jul 22, 2012, Source: In These Times

Labor activists with the Playfair 2012 campaign have seized the Olympic arena as a platform to spotlight how labor gets cheated around the world.

Posted on: Jul 22, 2012, Source: In These Times

For many workers in the sex trade, protecting their health on the job could land them in jail.

Posted on: Jul 8, 2012, Source: In These Times

Apple’s power over China’s workforce extends to many other suppliers. A new report drills down to the lesser-known plants that piece together our hand-held devices.

Posted on: Jul 3, 2012, Source: AlterNet

The utility company has locked out 8,500 workers, leaving a skeleton staff of untrained managers to run the city's power grid during a searing heat wave.

Posted on: Jul 2, 2012, Source: In These Times

A court has ruled that Louisiana stole funds from thousands of school employees after Hurricane Katrina. That's good news for teachers -- but NOLA's schools are still struggling.

Posted on: Jun 26, 2012, Source: In These Times

The White House is touting the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a "21st century" trade deal, but many activists see it as a regression into economic imperialism.

Posted on: Jun 21, 2012, Source: In These Times

Working long hours amid noxious fumes, salon workers are in constant contact with chemicals linked to various illnesses and reproductive health problems.

Posted on: Jun 5, 2012, Source: AlterNet

Nato Green, a union organizer-turned-comedian, talks to AlterNet about bringing race, class and gender analyses to comedy and his work with Laughter Against the Machine.

Posted on: Jun 3, 2012, Source: In These Times

National Nurses United is pushing to establish nationwide nurse-ratio guidelines in acute-care facilities, and to strengthen training programs to build the nursing workforce.

Posted on: May 27, 2012, Source: AlterNet

It should be no surprise that on America’s farms, many women are treated as less than human, since not even the government sees them as worthy of respect under the law.

Posted on: May 22, 2012, Source: The New Press

In this excerpt from the new book "Labor Rising: The Past and Future of Working People in America," Michelle Chen looks at young workers from Egypt to Wisconsin.

Posted on: May 17, 2012, Source: In These Times

By raising barriers to economic assistance and legal recourse, the legislation sends the message to countless women living in violent households that their place is still at home.

Posted on: May 13, 2012, Source: In These Times

Geopolitics turned humanitarian workers and refugees into hostages of a budget war that makes life for the community absurdly hard, from seeing a doctor to earning a paycheck.

Posted on: May 7, 2012, Source: In These Times

While racist hostility pervades the mainstream political arena, Occupy may be one of the only spaces left for immigrants to speak up without fear.

Posted on: Apr 29, 2012, Source: In These Times

Labor and human rights groups in both countries argue that the agreement would effectively condone violence against activists and economic oppression.

Posted on: Apr 29, 2012, Source: In These Times

Suicide starts to seem a strangely rational measure of life’s cheapness in a monetized society--people’s logical response to a loss of control over their destinies.

Posted on: Apr 19, 2012, Source: In These Times

The question we should be asking is not whether domestic caregiving is more or less important than wage work—they’re both crucial, and crucially different.

Posted on: Apr 15, 2012, Source: In These Times

Unlike the shady fiscal roulette that lawmakers often play with your tax dollars, PB gives ordinary people leverage to direct spending according to their idea of the greater good.

Posted on: Apr 11, 2012, Source: In These Times

New websites that connect people to odd jobs raise questions about the future of work: are these the new home-based sweatshops, exploiting desperation for next to no pay?

Posted on: Mar 21, 2012, Source: In These Times

If one fundamental truth has emerged from the scandal surrounding Daisey’s fudging, it’s that the lived reality of many Chinese workers is bleak—no embellishment needed.

Posted on: Mar 6, 2012, Source: In These Times

The students came for a summer learning experience with a job at a classic American company. Instead, they got a crash course in the realities of the global economy.

Posted on: Mar 1, 2012, Source: In These Times

The all-India general strike brought together workers of various sectors united under a banner of opposition to neoliberal policies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government.

Posted on: Feb 26, 2012, Source: In These Times

New pro-labor coalitions are forming in Egypt, but can they reinvigorate a stalled movement for social justice?