Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend Quotables

"I think I'm OK where I am." --Ford CEO Alan Mullaly responding to a Congressman's suggestion of reducing his $21 million salary.

Lessons from the Republic victory

John Nichols writing in The Nation on, “Labor Victory in Chicago”

Like Roosevelt, Obama is merely offering workers some space in which to organize. What's significant is that UE, an independent union with roots to the militant labor organizing of the 1930s, is seizing the space. And unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win coalition are supporting a small struggle with a big message. "If this bailout should go to anything, it should go to the workers of this country…"

From Sunday’s New York Times:

Bob Bruno, director of the labor studies program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, predicted organized labor would be emboldened by the workers’ success. “If you combine some palpable street anger with organizational resources in a changing political mood,” he said, “you can begin to see more of these sort of riskier, militant adventures, and they’re more likely to succeed.”

Untold labor history

Detroit by Dan Georgakas: Book Cover

In all the coverage of the Republic victory, I keep reading that this was the first plant takeover by workers since the '30s. As I read about what's on the horizon for millions of auto industry workers facing job losses if the current bailout fails, I can't help but thinking about the wave of wildcat strikes and yes--plant takeovers--in Detroit by militant black workers back in the '70s and why they are being erased from current labor history. It's all documented in Dan Georgakas' book, Detroit, I Do Mind Dying.

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