Amy Dean

Protecting Classrooms From Corporate Takeover: What Families Can Learn from Teachers’ Unions

Teachers have always held a cherished role in our society—recognized as professionals who know how to inculcate a love of learning in our children. But the "education reform" movement represented by No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top blames teachers for the problems in our public schools.

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How Domestic Workers Won Their Rights: Five Big Lessons

Domestic workers have had some breakthrough wins over the past two weeks. Up until then, these workers were excluded from protections such as a guaranteed minimum wage, paid breaks, and overtime pay. On September 17, the Obama administration announced new rules extending the Fair Labor Standards Act to include the 800,000 to 2 million home health workers—who help seniors and others with self-care tasks like taking medications, bathing, and shopping—under the federal government's wage and hour protections.

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In Major U.S. Cities Education "Reform" Opponents Take To the Streets

“As it stands now, if nothing changes, the schools are going to have to open without any adults in the large spaces where kids gather,” predicted Philadelphia public schools parent Michael Mullins in late June. Mullins has two kids in the public schools and is secretary-treasurer of the city’s hotel and stadium workers union, UNITE/HERE. In late May, the Philadelphia School District approved a “doomsday budget” cutting almost $300 million from the schools and resulting in the layoffs of 3,783 people—19 percent of the school system’s workforce. The budget also threatened to get rid of arts, music and athletic programs, as well as librarians, secretaries, counselors and playground aides, unless the state or city council could come up with emergency funding.

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Got an Abusive Boss? There's an App for That

For workers in America, it can be hard to know where to turn when a boss pays you late or not at all, doesn't provide benefits, or just yells at you for no good reason.

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Why Unions Are Going Into the Co-op Business

“Too often we have seen Wall Street hollow out companies by draining their cash and assets and hollow out communities by shedding jobs and shuttering plants,” said United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard in 2009. “We need a new business model that invests in workers and invests in communities.”

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Listen Up, Foodies! Saru Jayaraman Thinks You Should Care as Much About Restaurant Workers as You Do Your Organic Chicken

There's little question that the vast majority of restaurant workers in the United States could use a union. On the whole, their jobs offer low pay and few benefits and employees have little job security. Yet they are also a very difficult group to organize: turnover in the industry is high, the workforce is largely an immigrant one, and employers effectively use threats of deportation and other retaliation against those who speak up.

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Why Boycotting Hyatt Is More Than Just a Union Issue: An Interview With Activist Cleve Jones

Copyright, Reprinted with permission.

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What Role for Labor in the Progressive Uprising? A Conversation With Labor Strategist Stephen Lerner

No force did more to build the American middle class than organized labor. In recent decades, however, unions have been decimated. Despite concerted efforts to turn the tide, the movement now represents only 7 percent of workers in the private sector. Never have working people in this country been more in need of a collective voice. Yet, we must ask, can labor alone create the change we need? If it can't do it by itself, what role can unions play in supporting a wider progressive uprising?

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