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Other Reporting

A Trusteeship Diaspora:
How SEIU’s Self-Inflicted Loss Became Labor’s Gain

by Steve Early
January 29, 2019
Beyond Chron

SEIU-UHW Alumni Keep Fighting for Progressive Change
Ten years ago this month, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) shot itself in the foot, big time. To silence internal critics, then-SEIU President Andy Stern imposed the largest trusteeship over a local union in the history of U.S. labor. SEIU headquarters in Washington dispatched hundreds of national union staffers from around the country to seize control of Oakland-based United Healthcare Workers (UHW).

Why the Working Class Matters
Review of Can the Working Class Change the World?
by Michael Yates. (Monthly Review Press, 2018)
by Steve Early
Janurary 18, 2019
LA Progressive

Radical economist Michael Yates grew up in a western Pennsylvania manufacturing town, later hard hit by de-industrialization. He spent more than three decades working as a college professor in his home state.

Despite his career in academia and editorial role at Monthly Review, a seventy-year old project of socialist intellectuals, Yates never lost touch with the life experience of high school classmates, friends, neighbors, and relatives who toiled in blue collar jobs.

Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
by Steve Early and Suzanne Gordon
January 18, 2019

Amid a controversial government shutdown, affecting 800,000 thousand federal employees, you would think that the agency headed by Robert Wilkie would be an oasis of tranquility.

A Call Center Coup: Ex-Teamster Boots Riley Tackles Telemarketing And its Discontents

Steve Early
July 8, 2018

When I was a union rep, one of my most challenging assignments was assisting a Communications Workers of America (CWA) bargaining unit at a Boston-area telemarketing firm.
Most CWA members in New England had call center jobs at the phone company, with good pensions, health insurance, and full-time salaries....

Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of “Oil Can” Eddie

Steve Early
June 18, 2018
Stansnbury Forum

In progressive circles in the upper mid-west today, if you’ve heard the name Sadlowski, it’s probably because you were involved in the Wisconsin labor uprising of 2011, where you might have linked arms with AFSCME organizer and state capitol occupier Edward A. Sadlowski. Or maybe you applauded the electoral victory of his sister, Susan Sadlowski Garza, when she won a Chicago city council seat four years later, as a standard bearer for her union, the Chicago Teachers.

Making Meet Ups Matter: What Activists Can
Learn From "Art of Gathering”?

Steve Early
June 6, 2018
Beyond Chron

Have you ever been to an awful panel discussion? An awkward funeral? A long and frustrating meeting? A flash mob that fizzled? A dinner party with unfriendly people? According to Priya Parker, a meeting facilitator and expert on social interaction, the fault wasn’t yours

xxThe Greening of Vermont: From Hippie Invasion To Blue State Conversion and Beyond

Steve Early
April 16, 2018

Donald Trump’s fear-mongering about Mexicans and Muslims, Haitians and Africans, and other foreigners is hardly sui generis in U.S. history. In the mid- 19th century, east coast nativists regularly sounded the alarm about barbarian invasions from famine-stricken Ireland. Their west coast counterparts warned for many decades of the “yellow peril” to California, which took the form of Asian immigration.

MR OnlinePurple bullying, ten years later: SEIU trustees trample membership rights

In Chicago this coming weekend, 2,500 rank-and-file activists, from the U.S. and abroad, will be meeting under the banner of Labor Notes to celebrate the revival of union militancy, including recent strike victories like the West Virginia teachers’ walk-out.

Room to Grow
Jacobin Magazine >>

By Steve Early

When leftists push their ideals on their kids, politics looks more like drudgery than liberation.

As a left-wing labor activist and father of two now-adult daughters, I once grappled with the challenges of “progressive parenting.”

It was hard enough, I soon discovered, to avoid screwing up the basics of old-fashioned child-rearing — keeping kids safe, healthy, reasonably happy, and well-adjusted. Insuring conformity with parental views and values would have been an additional heavy lift — and an effort that could easily backfire.

Weinsteins in the Workplace:
Will Unions Be Part of the Solution Or the Problem? - Beyond Chron >>

By Steve Early

Unions have their own Weinstein sexual harassment skeletons. Will labor be part of the solution or the problem?

Being a CWA rep was always a learning experience, during my 27 years on active duty with that union. See link below to an account of how one blue-collar CWA affiliate, in a Massachusetts factory town, responded to a workplace harassment case in a fashion that advanced its decade-long struggle to become a more member-driven and effective union....

Ralph's Museum: A Report from Winsted

September 20, 2017
Report From Winsted >> Ralph Nader’s Museum

By Steve Early

My favorite Helena Bonham Carter film is called Margaret’s Museum. In it, she plays Margaret MacNeil, the young widow of a Nova Scotia coal miner killed, on the job, like others in her family before him.

Margaret’s grief leaves her mentally unhinged in a community steeped in fatalism and acceptance. After her release from an asylum, she turns her seaside cottage into a museum depicting the human toll of underground mining. The sign outside, drawing few tourists in the late 1940s, says simply: “The Cost of Coal.”

I thought instantly of this movie, in late July, when I was the sole Sunday morning viewer of exhibits in a Winsted, CT. museum similarly suffused with righteous indignation over the human cost of hazardous products and dangerous occupations...

For more on Ralph Nader's American Tort Law Museum, see:

Steve Early • 747 Lobos Avenue, Richmond, CA 94801 • Cell: (617) 930-7327 / Landline: (510) 260-0636 • lsupport@aol.com
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