Workers’ Republic

by Scott McLemee on December 12, 2008

The Labor Beat video group is putting together a documentary about the victorious occupation of the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago. The filmmakers were — unless I’m mistaken — the only media group given constant access to the inside of the factory during this action. They’ve put up a ten minute selection of footage on YouTube:

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by Kieran Healy on December 12, 2008

As you may know, Stephen Fry, John Cleese, The Cassini Probe, Britney Spears, Shaq, 10 Downing St and, more tenuously, Darth Vader and the Fucking Pope are all on Twitter. But who is responsible for crookedtimber? Not me. The fact that the one person CT follows is a blocked account makes me suspicious.

By the way, if you neither like nor understand Twitter, that’s perfectly OK: no-one is making you follow anyone.

A glimmer of good news

by Henry Farrell on December 12, 2008

on an otherwise dismal day. The UFCW has “finally succeeded”: in unionizing the Smithfield meatpacking plant.

Workers at Smithfield Packing Co. voted in favor of unionizing, a stunning victory for labor organizers who have waited 16 years to gain a presence in the world’s largest hog processing plant. … Tonight’s victory marks a major inroad for organized labor in North Carolina. … After the union was defeated in the 1990s, the voting results were challenged with allegations that management harassed and intimidated workers. In May 2006, a federal court ruled that Smithfield must stop anti-union tactics and allow a vote.

(Longtime CT readers may remember a “disgracefully dishonest”: _Economist_ story on how great the Smithfield plant was for immigrants from a couple of years back and a series of “increasingly”: “ludicrous”: posts from Megan McArdle, then writing at said journal, defending same)

The Politics of Pragmatism

by Henry Farrell on December 12, 2008

Chris Hayes has a “nice piece”: in _The Nation_ about how the term ‘pragmatism’ is used in US public debate.
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