Justin Miller

Nissan Union Loss Underscores Labor’s Big Dilemma

Late Friday night, the American labor movement was dealt yet another body blow—an increasingly common occurrence in the Trump era—as it became clear that the United Auto Workers had lost its long-shot bid to establish a union at a Nissan manufacturing plant in Canton, Mississippi.

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In New York City, Fast-Food Workers May Soon Have a Permanent Voice

Thanks to one of a handful new labor laws passed by the New York City Council and signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio late last month, the roughly 65,000 fast-food workers employed across the five boroughs will soon have their own advocacy group—with the hopes of growing it into a self-directed, member-funded organization. 

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Will Suburban Activism Pave the Democratic Path to the House?

On an unseasonably warm Friday evening in late February, more than 100 residents of Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District filled the gymnasium of a community center in Sterling, one of the sprawling towns of Loudoun County in the exurbs of Washington. Constituents had for weeks been trying to get Republican Representative Barbara Comstock to go beyond the controlled environs of a tele-town hall and face her constituents in person. They mounted daily call-in campaigns and protests outside her district offices, asking her to attend. In the end, she was a no-show, saying she had a long-scheduled event at the same time.

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Kentucky’s Attack on Unions Provides a Glimpse into the GOP’s Impending War on Workers

hile Donald Trump supporters celebrated their candidate’s massive upset on Election Day, Kentucky Republicans were joyous for an additional reason: They had just seized control of what had been the last majority Democratic legislative chamber in the South. For 95 years—all the way back to 1921, when Warren G. Harding was president—Kentucky Democrats had maintained control of the state House of Representatives.

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Unions Stake Out Positions in Battle for DNC Chair

Over the weekend, the contenders for Democratic National Committee chair headed to Austin, Texas, to make their case before a crowd of the Lone Star State’s party faithful. All eyes were on progressive firebrand Keith Ellison, the Minnesota, Sanders-supporting congressman who jumped in the race first and has built a broad coalition of support, and Obama’s Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who got in late with the implicit backing of the White House.

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Ohio Republicans Advance Nationwide Wage-Suppression Campaign

n its lame-duck rush to push through a controversial legislative package, the Republican-controlled Ohio Legislature made headlines by passing the “heartbeat bill,” an oppressive—and likely unconstitutional—anti-abortion measure that, if signed by Republican Governor John Kasich, would be the most restrictive law in the country. But there was another harsh measure in the mix that flew under the radar: a measure that would force Ohio localities to comply with state minimum-wage regulations that top out at $8.10 an hour.

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Trump the Union-Busting Employer Will Now Dictate Nation’s Labor Policy

President-elect Donald Trump’s career as a businessman with ventures and investments around the world will present an unprecedented number of presidential conflicts of interest when he moves into the Oval Office. As the employer of some 34,000 people, Trump is hardly a disinterested party when it comes to dictating national labor and employment policy. His appointments to the federal courts, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Department of Labor, as well as his consideration of worker-related legislation and his ability to use executive action to resolve labor disputes are rife with potential conflicts, ethics experts say.

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Things Are About to Get Really Ugly for the Labor Movement

The nation’s union movement is suffering from collective whiplash. As the Rust Belt states fell late last Tuesday night, so too did labor’s hopes for a Democratic president who had promised to lift up working people. Instead it was forced to confront the reality of an explosive faux-populist taking power in tandem with a pro-business GOP Congress that has been waiting for its chance to dismantle a beleaguered, but recently rising, labor movement. The promising signs of a rejuvenation for workers’ interests and rights in recent years have all come under a dark cloud of uncertainty and dread.

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What Workers and Their Friends Should Watch for on Election Day

lection Day is finally here (phew!), and as usual, there’s a lot at stake for working Americans. On the presidential level (at the risk of stating the obvious), there is a huge chasm between Clinton and Trump when it comes to backing a progressive, working-families agenda.

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Massachusetts Teachers Unions Battle the Dark Money Behind a Pro-Charter Ballot Measure

Millions of dollars of dark money are streaming into Massachusetts as charter school proponents try to pass Question 2, a contentious ballot measure that would raise the state’s existing cap on charter schools. Teachers unions are scrambling to fight back against what they say is a heavy-handed attempt to dramatically expand public charters while hanging underfunded, traditional public schools out to dry.

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Trump’s Riches and the Real-Estate Tax Racket

This article appears in the Fall 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here.

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Scott Walker Leaks Could Force Supreme Court to Confront Dark Money

arely do members of the public get to see behind the closed doors of political nonprofits, which may receive unlimited amounts of money from mega-donors without disclosing anything about their operations. But a trove of leaked documents from an investigation into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s 2012 recall election campaign has offered an unprecedented look at how politicians operate in a post-Citizens United world that features record levels of undisclosed political money.

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Rev. William Barber Is on a Mission From God: Change the Country’s Moral Narrative

Reverend Dr. William Barber II is the architect and leader of the “Moral Mondays” movement who recently rallied a broad coalition of North Carolinians to protest outside the state capital building in Raleigh and demand that the legislature restore full voting rights. Since then, he’s become one of the most influential progressive religious figures in the country. Barber delivered a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention about the need for a “moral defibrillator” in American democracy. Now he’s launching a nationwide “Moral Revival” project that seeks to inject morality into politics. Barber recently helped lead a Fight for 15 march down Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, that culminated in a rousing address in the shadow of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

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In Show of Force, Fight for 15 Plots Its Political Path

The Fight for 15’s first-ever national convention convened in Richmond, Virginia, this past weekend attracted diverse groups of low-wage workers from across the country in a stunning demonstration of the movement’s continued strength and ambition.

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Unions Flex Political Muscle at the DNC, But Uber and Airbnb Lurk

abor unions’ fingerprints were all over last week’s Democratic National Convention, sending a clear reminder to the party faithful that—despite decades of waning membership—unions are still a critical component of the Democratic Party. From convention speeches to sponsored events, unions made the case for their role as both the party’s foremost advocate of its most progressive policies and as its most effective foil against pseudo-populist Donald Trump.

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Uber: Greed by Any Other Name?

Uber’s ceaseless public-relations problems continue to mount by the week.

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Will the Fight for 15 (Officially) Go Union?

Welcome to The American Prospect’s weekly roundup highlighting the best reporting and latest developments in the labor movement. 

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Hedge Funds Underwrite Political Networks to Privatize K-12 Public Education

Not too long ago, school board races were quaint affairs. Even in big school districts, candidates usually only had to raise a few thousand dollars to compete.

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From Verizon to McDonald's, the Worker Strikes Back

Last week workers struck back—and just plain struck—against the squeeze on pay and benefits that has become C-suite occupants’ modus operandi for increasing returns and padding their bonuses.

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