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Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger, Thomas Petzinger Jr.
airline deregulation, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, index card, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, the medium is the message, The Predators' Ball, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, yield management
Each of those intended scabs had to be convinced not to perform the job for which he had been hired. United was lodging the strikebreakers at two hotels near the company’s training center in Denver, where they had plenty of time on their hands. An ALPA leader named Jamie Lindsay (once described by ALPA’s international president as “a nuclear reactor without enough water”) led the countertraining effort. He ran union hospitality suites in the company’s hotels, right under Ferris’s nose. He arranged for carry-out pizza by the dozens and beer by the case for fraternal meetings with the intended scabs. Little was spared in the way of moral suasion and professional pressure. There was another element, more discreet, in the campaign to keep the newly hired pilots from crossing. Some of the pilots who had been hired to train the strikebreakers were themselves on strike—at Continental Airlines.
Byrne, WSJ, May 20, 1985; “Pilots Go on Strike at United,” by James Warren and Carol Jouzaitis, Chicago Tribune, May 17, 1985. 71. lodging the strikebreakers: ALPA’s countertraining operation in Denver was described in the Babbitt 8/26/94 interview and the Higgins 6/8/94 interview. 72. “nuclear reactor”: Babbitt 8/26/94 interview. 73. double agents: Higgins 6/8/94 interview. 74. Haas … expressed reservations: Zeeman 7/23/93 interview; Ferris 6/7/94 interview. 75. Six showed up: Byrne, WSJ, May 20, 1985. 76. 30 management pilots: Ibid. 77. Twenty-four-hour security: Ferris 5/27/93 interview. Ferris also described the acts of intimidation against strikebreakers. 78. “I am the chairman”: Quoted in “ ‘Friendly Skies’ Now Cloudy,” by Carol Jouzaitis and Gary Washburn, Chicago Tribune, June 23, 1985. 79.
“Flight attendants deal with everything on a more emotional, visible level,” Plaskett would explain. And as they cried still more, “It dawned on me: What was coming to the fore in their minds was, ‘I’m not worth what I’m paid.’… We’re telling them, ‘There’s someone out there who’s willing to do your job at half the price.’ ” In the end, as they watched the company training every secretary in corporate headquarters to act as a strikebreaker, flight attendants making $30,000 a year decided that they would stay on the job and allow American to hire future flight attendants at about $15,000 a year. With his b-scales firmly in place, Crandall in early 1984 began unleashing orders for hundreds of new airplanes. Pilots, mechanics, and flight attendants flooded into American. The Dallas hub added new spokes. Still more planes and more employees came aboard.
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration
That same year, in New Orleans, forty-two union locals, with over twenty thousand members, mostly white but including some blacks (there was one black on the strike committee), called a general strike, involving half the population of the city. Work in New Orleans came to a stop. After three days—with strikebreakers brought in, martial law, and the threat of militia—the strike ended with a compromise, gaining hours and wages but without recognition of the unions as bargaining agents. The year 1892 saw strike struggles all over the country: besides the general strike in New Orleans and the coal miners’ strike in Tennessee, there was a railroad switchmen’s strike in Buffalo, New York, and a copper miners’ strike in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The Coeur d’Alene strike was marked by gun battles between strikers and strikebreakers, and many deaths. A newspaper account of July 11, 1892, reported: . . . The long-dreaded conflict between the forces of the strikers and the nonunion men who have taken their places has come at last.
There were dead on both sides. For the next several days the strikers were in command of the area. Now the state went into action: the governor brought in the militia, armed with the latest rifles and Gatling guns, to protect the import of strikebreakers. Strike leaders were charged with murder; 160 other strikers were tried for other crimes. All were acquitted by friendly juries. The entire Strike Committee was then arrested for treason against the state, but no jury would convict them. The strike held for four months, but the plant was producing steel with strikebreakers who were brought in, often in locked trains, not knowing their destination, not knowing a strike was on. The strikers, with no resources left, agreed to return to work, their leaders blacklisted. One reason for the defeat was that the strike was confined to Homestead, and other plants of Carnegie kept working.
The gunmen hired by the Rockefeller interests—the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency—using Gatling guns and rifles, raided the tent colonies. The death list of miners grew, but they hung on, drove back an armored train in a gun battle, fought to keep out strikebreakers. With the miners resisting, refusing to give in, the mines not able to operate, the Colorado governor (referred to by a Rockefeller mine manager as “our little cowboy governor”) called out the National Guard, with the Rockefellers supplying the Guard’s wages. The miners at first thought the Guard was sent to protect them, and greeted its arrivals with flags and cheers. They soon found out the Guard was there to destroy the strike. The Guard brought strikebreakers in under cover of night, not telling them there was a strike. Guardsmen beat miners, arrested them by the hundreds, rode down with their horses parades of women in the streets of Trinidad, the central town in the area.
call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, manufacturing employment, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, rising living standards, strikebreaker, The Spirit Level, unemployed young men, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, young professional
17 For people used to being treated as socially inferior, being honoured as patriots was a heady experience. Other working-class strikebreakers were hungry for work. In Bristol, eighteen-year-old Alf Canning, a bus conductor, stayed at work when others struck. His father, a labourer, was ‘non-union I suppose’ and told Alf to keep his head down. Alf’s seven brothers and sisters relied heavily on his wage, and in 1926 ‘if you had a job you was doing well’. With so many people desperate for work in Bristol, Alf and his colleagues ‘had to be careful in all ways; you could be victimized if they didn’t like the colour of your eyes.’18 In several cities, unemployed young men were among those who volunteered, primarily in order to earn a few shillings, though some of them also expressed a conservative patriotic fervour. In Glasgow strikebreakers included members of the Billy Boys, a violent Protestant street gang who provided protection for local Conservative Party meetings throughout the 1920s and 1930s.19 But most of the volunteers came from far more privileged backgrounds.
A generation of men and women would never lose that inspirational feeling that unity was strength, just as they would never forget the determination of a ‘democratic’ government to repress them. Little wonder that in many mining villages the strikebreakers of 1926 were still social pariahs decades later.42 One consequence was an increase in the working-class vote for Labour. Despite the lukewarm backing of the Labour front bench, local Labour Party branches had shown great solidarity with the strikers. Labour’s support had not increased in municipal elections since 1920. But in 1926, for the first time, Labour won control of several important municipal councils, including Glasgow and Sheffield.43 Alf Canning, the eighteen-year-old strikebreaker from Bristol, was among these new Labour supporters. Although he hadn’t joined the General Strike, he was influenced by the solidarity shown by the strikers and their trade unions, and by his own poor working conditions – long hours, shift work and being at the beck and call of managers who warned Alf that the dole queues were full of willing replacements.
Nancy and Pam [her older sisters], then in their early twenties, established a canteen in an old barn on the highway … in which they took alternate shifts serving tea, hot soup and sandwiches to the scabbing lorry-drivers. After lessons, Boud and I with our governess and Debo with Nanny would toil up the hill to help, Miranda [a pet lamb] strictly at heel in case a Bolshie should jump out of the hedge.23 Jessica’s sister Pam was accosted in the canteen she ran for strikebreakers by a filthy tramp … ‘Can I ’ave a cup o’ tea, miss?’ he leered at Pam, thrusting his dreadful face close to hers … ‘Can I ’ave a kiss, miss?’ and he put his arm round her waist. Pam, thoroughly terrified, let out a fearful shriek, and in her mad haste to get away from him fell and sprained her ankle. The tramp turned out to be Nancy [her sister] in disguise. All in all, we were rather sad when the General Strike came to an end and life returned to dull normalcy.24 Before the First World War, dressing up and imitating one’s servants and labourers had been integral to annual celebrations like Christmas and the Harvest Home, when upper-class employers might wait on their staff.25 Such rituals emphasized the bond of mutual obligation which ‘service’ was meant to define.
No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional
As discussed, Stella Rimington’s published memoirs confirm that MI5 was spying on Scargill, McGahey and Heathfield, but she claimed that all the information they forwarded to Margaret Thatcher was ‘carefully scrutinized’ to make sure that it was ‘properly within our remit’.32 Whether or not that remit included retaining an informant in NUM headquarters, she did not say, though when asked about Windsor, she replied: ‘It would be correct to say that he, Roger Windsor, was never an agent in any sense of the word that you can possibly imagine and that MI5 did not run agents in the NUM.’33 While the pictures of Roger Windsor consorting with Gaddafi were bad for the miners, something worse – far worse – followed two weeks later. In Wales, a small number of miners had filtered back to work, creating huge resentment among those still on strike. There, as in England, the resources of the state were liberally expended in protecting and encouraging strikebreakers and, allegedly, in acts of provocation. One miner’s wife was walking home in the dark in the little town of Abertillery, when a van pulled up ahead of her. ‘I could hear the voices of the men shouting “Slut, prostitute!” . . . When I got alongside the van, it was full of policemen,’34 she claimed. One strike-breaker was David Williams, from Rhymney, who worked at the Merthyr Tydfil coalfield six miles from his home. Each morning, a taxi called at his door and he was driven to work along the A465, accompanied by two police cars and a motorcycle outrider.
[M]en and women who in normal times rarely left their villages and valleys were rapidly becoming lay-experts in matters which had never before impinged on their lives. They were travelling vast distances day after day, discovering allies and enemies in the most unlikely places: friendly Hindu communities in Birmingham, hostile steelworkers in Newport; magnificently supportive farmers in the wilds of Dyfed and hostile city councillors in the chambers of Cardiff.15 No time was wasted bussing in police officers to protect the strike-breaking miners and make sure that they could get past the picket lines unhindered. The strike formally began on Monday, 5 March. By Wednesday, 3,000 police from seventeen forces were at the pitheads and other locations around the East Midlands. The government was not going to be taken by surprise as it had been in 1972, when 800 police officers assigned to keep the Saltley coke depot open faced the sudden appearance of 25,000 miners, organized by Scargill.
No great effort seems to have been put into finding the killer; Jones’s death merited one sentence in the minutes of the directors of the North Notts Mining Board.18 However, his funeral, on 23 March, attracted a procession half a mile long. Two days later, Ian Tarren, a twenty-five-year-old miner who had not joined the strike, hanged himself at home in Peterlee, County Durham, allegedly after being taunted for being a ‘scab’.19 Another strikebreaker, James Clay, committed suicide in June, allegedly after threats to his twelve-year-old daughter. Contrary to what is oft en claimed, the only miner recorded as having died on a picket line was Joe Green, a sixty-year-old miner who was crushed by an articulated lorry outside the Ferrybridge power station on 15 June, although two South Wales miners died in an accident on their way to a picket line.
The Docks by Bill Sharpsteen
affirmative action, anti-communist, big-box store, collective bargaining, Google Earth, intermodal, inventory management, jitney, Just-in-time delivery, new economy, Panamax, place-making, Port of Oakland, post-Panamax, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, strikebreaker, women in the workforce
For a short time, at least, West Coast ports stayed relatively calm, a product of the solidarity that Bridges preached; the major docks shut down all along the West Coast because longshoremen refused to cross the picket lines. The one exception was San Pedro, where the employers hired thousands of strikebreakers—known as scabs—and formed their own union, the Longshoremen’s Mutual Protective Association of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Unwilling to recognize this latest company union as anything but a front for scabs, the thirteen hundred striking longshoremen at the two ports often became violent enforcers, doing what they could to prevent the strikebreakers from usurping their jobs. In some ways, it was incredibly well organized mayhem. Picket captains selected groups of five or six men to drive to a recruiting office run by the Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ Association in the Rosslyn Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
According to Joe Stahl, a longshoreman (who had temporarily been a scab before joining the strike), “the longshoremen raided that big tent bull penâ•¯.â•¯.â•¯. ” but nothing was said about arson. Later union accounts further toned down the incident into one starting out as “a peaceful demonstration.” In any case, it is clear that a group of strikers, possibly as many as three hundred by the Times’ estimate, showed up where the scabs were staying. According to an article in the Nation, six hundred special cops and private strike-breaking guards showed up and attacked the strikers. Dick Parker, a twenty-year-old longshoreman who had joined the ILA only a few hours before, was shot through the chest by a guard, and Joe Stahl saw John Knudsen take a bullet as well. Ray Salcido, one of the first Mexicans to work on the docks, heard Parker say, “Ray, I’m shot,” and Salcido carried him out of the tent. Parker died there, while Knudsen died later of a perforated intestine.
Stories in the San Francisco Daily News depicted a morality play of sorts in which the longshoremen—most often referred to as rioters—received a suitable punishment for their attacks on the port and the police protecting it. More sympathetic, prolabor accounts characterized the strikers’ actions as purely defensive, even heroic, and described the cops as overly aggressive tools of the employers. The battle began early, at 8:00 a.m., after a Belt Line locomotive driven by strikebreakers shunted two refrigerator cars into the Matson docks at piers 30 and 32. According to the Daily News, the pickets—a crowd of about two thousand—protested this by setting two boxcars on fire. The police reacted with tear gas, vomiting gas, and gunfire. At one point, so much ammunition was released that workers on the construction site of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge had to run for cover lest they stop a stray bullet.
Rogue States by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, collective bargaining, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, deskilling, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, oil shock, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, Tobin tax, union organizing, Washington Consensus
The latter right is technically upheld in the United States, though legal and administrative mechanisms ensure that it is increasingly observed in the breach. By the time the Reaganites had completed their work, the US was far enough off the spectrum so that the International Labor Organization, which rarely criticizes the powerful, issued a recommendation that the US conform to international standards, in response to an AFL-CIO complaint about strikebreaking by resort to “permanent replacement workers.”46 Apart from South Africa, no other industrial country tolerated these methods to ensure that Article 23 remains empty words; and with subsequent developments in South Africa, the US may stand in splendid isolation in this particular respect, though it has yet to achieve British standards, such as allowing employers to use selective pay increases to induce workers to reject union and collective bargaining rights.47 Reviewing some of the mechanisms used to render Article 23 inoperative, Business Week reported that from the early Reagan years, “US industry has conducted one of the most successful anti-union wars ever, illegally firing thousands of workers for exercising their rights to organize.”
The study was carried out under NAFTA rules in response to a complaint by telecommunications workers on illegal labor practices by Sprint. The complaint was upheld by the US National Labor Relations Board, which ordered trivial penalties after years of delay, the standard procedure. The NAFTA study, by Cornell University Labor economist Kate Bronfenbrenner, was authorized for release by Canada and Mexico, but delayed by the Clinton administration. It reveals a significant impact of NAFTA on strikebreaking. About half of union organizing efforts are disrupted by employer threats to transfer production abroad, for example, by placing signs reading “Mexico Transfer Job” in front of a plant where there is an organizing drive. The threats are not idle. When such organizing drives nevertheless succeed, employers close the plant in whole or in part at triple the pre-NAFTA rate (about 15 percent of the time).
He recently testified to the Senate Banking Committee on the miracle, which he attributed in part to “greater worker insecurity.”10 Workers are intimidated; they are afraid to ask for a living wage and benefits, and that’s a good thing. It makes Americans confident and smug, if you understand the word “Americans” correctly. The latest economic report of the president also takes great pride in the fairy-tale economy, which it attributes to “significant wage restraint” that results from “changes in labor market institutions and practices.”11 That translates into English as things like non-enforcement of laws on illegal strike-breaking, allowing permanent replacement workers—the US has been cited by the ILO for that, but nobody pays any attention. And there are other factors in the fairy tale. Caterpillar, the construction producer, won a major strike in Illinois, seriously harming one of the major unions, United Auto Workers. How did they do it? Well, by hiring permanent replacement workers, considered illegal in most of the world, and also by using the dazzling profits that they shared with their associates to construct excess capacity abroad, from which they could supply their markets even with the Caterpillar plants in Illinois on strike.
Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge
affirmative action, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, business process, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, double entry bookkeeping, Etonian, hiring and firing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, market bubble, mittelstand, new economy, North Sea oil, race to the bottom, railway mania, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
Carnegie cut the men’s wages—a decision that precipitated a strike and then a lockout. Frick duly built a three-mile-long stockade around the factory, complete with barbed wire, searchlights, and two hundred shooting holes for rifles. He also employed three hundred men from the Pinkerton detective agency to protect his strikebreakers. The workers won the first round, with the Pinkertons surrendering after a pitched battle, which claimed sixteen lives. But they lost the war. The governor sent in eight thousand state militia. Frick brought in strikebreakers, many of them blacks who were banned from joining the union, and smashed the strike. The Homestead strike, and the bloody Pullman strike of 1894, where the attorney general (a railroad shareholder, as it happened) intervened to declare that the American Railroad Union was “an illegal combination” under antitrust laws, showed the gulf between the power of capital and labor.
Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda by Noam Chomsky
We can all work together and work for Americanism in harmony, liking each other. That was essentially the message. A huge amount of effort was put into presenting it. This is, after all, the business community, so they control the media and have massive resources. And it worked, very effectively. It was later called the "Mohawk Valley formula" and applied over and over again to break strikes. They were called "scientific methods of strike-breaking," and worked very effectively by mobilizing community opinion in favor of vapid, empty concepts like Americanism. Who can be against that? Or harmony. Who can be against that? Or, as in the Persian Gulf War, "Support our troops." Who can be against that? Or yellow ribbons. Who can be against that? Anything that's totally vacuous. In fact, what does it mean if somebody asks you, Do you support the people in Iowa?
How the World Works by Noam Chomsky, Arthur Naiman, David Barsamian
affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, clean water, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, labour market flexibility, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, transfer pricing, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor
This happened in part when the US began its postwar task of undermining the antifascist resistance and the labor movement became an important target. In France, the threat of the political power and influence of the labor movement was enhanced by its steps to impede the flow of arms to French forces seeking to reconquer their former colony of Vietnam with US aid. So the CIA undertook to weaken and split the French labor movement—with the aid of top American labor leaders, who were quite proud of their role. The task required strikebreakers and goons. There was an obvious supplier: the Mafia. Of course, they didn’t take on this work just for the fun of it—they wanted a return for their efforts. And it was given to them: They were authorized to reestablish the heroin racket that had been suppressed by the fascist governments, the famous “French connection” that dominated the drug trade until the 1960s. By then, the center of the drug trade had shifted to Indochina, particularly Laos and Thailand.
The Webb story is fundamentally correct, but the fact that the CIA has been involved in drugrunning has been well-known since Al McCoy’s work 25 years ago [in books like The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade]. It started right after the Second World War. You can follow the trail through the French connection in Marseilles (a consequence of CIA efforts to undermine unions by reconstituting the Mafia for strikebreaking and disruption), to the Golden Triangle in Laos and Burma, and on to Afghanistan, etc. Bob Parry and Brian Barger exposed a lot of the story ten years ago. Their evidence was correct, but they were shut up very quickly. Webb’s contribution was to trace some of the details and discover that cocaine got into the ghettos by a particular pathway. When the CIA says they didn’t know anything about it, I assume they’re right.
decline of in the media New Deal-style libertarian society, impossibility of designing libraries Libya Lies of Our Times Likud Lincoln, Edward “linkage,” Lippmann, Walter Little Rock economic conference living standards, US foreign policy and Lockheed Lombard League (Spain) Long, Huey Lorenzo, Frank Los Angeles National Defense Highway System South Central Lula Luxemburg, Rosa Lyons, Louis M. MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour Madison, James Maechling, Charles Mafia CIA connection to as strikebreakers magic answer Mahdi, Ali “major surgery,” Making of the English Working Class malnutrition among children in US “managed” health care Mandate for Change Manifest Destiny Manufacturing Consent on Cambodia dedication to Carey film on five news filters on social purpose of media manufacturing dissent maquiladoras Marcos, Ferdinand marijuana Marines (US) “market discipline,” market system, deaths due to “market theory, really existing,” Markusen, Ann Marseilles Marshall Plan Martin Marietta Marxism as Chomsky’s childhood reading “class” seen as Marxist raving critique of Lenin Jefferson and Dewey as Marxists mainstream left Marxist analysis of racism Republican use of rhetoric systemic questions and traditional “vulgar, inverted,” Marxist priests Marx, Karl Massachusetts attitudes toward business in (former) corporations subsidized in organizers in Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Alistair Cooke's America by Alistair Cooke
Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, British Empire, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, interchangeable parts, joint-stock company, Maui Hawaii, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban sprawl, wage slave, Works Progress Administration
‘I would as soon,’ he wrote, ‘leave my son a curse as the Almighty Dollar.’ Never having had a son, he was saved from risking this malediction. As he sat in his castle and looked out over the splendid hills and the still lochs, he liked to think of himself as a simple Scottish laird who had given to America more than he took. It wasn’t, however, a bad place to be when his steel workers – determined to organize in a union – were shooting it out with an army of strikebreakers hired by Frick. Carnegie was stung by the suggestion of a United States Senator from Indiana that he was ‘skulking in his castle,’ and, when the British press took him up on the killing and wounding at his Homestead plant, Carnegie made the mistake of publicly wallowing in self-pity. He swore he had received a telegram from his workers beginning ‘Kind master,’ and seeking to know only his wishes.
And while the Newport millionaires bent for rubies with their little sterling silver shovels, children in New York bent over sewing machines sixteen hours a day, for industry had produced something that was supposed, in the not so long ago, never to happen in America – a permanent factory population. It began to see itself as the slave of the trusts and the money men. In the year that the Vanderbilts threw open their golden doors, there was a coal miners’ strike, a national railroad strike, and a sweat-shop march, most of them aggravated by armies of strikebreakers and broken either by the state guard or by federal troops. But it was out on the prairie that the people felt most cheated and disheartened. They had gone out to realize the dream of free men and free soil. They had been conned, first by the railroads and their land grants, then by the farm machines and their makers. For the price of those beautiful machines was a mortgage on the land. And thanks in part to the machines’ productivity, the value of the dollar had trebled in twenty years.
The industrialists, the steel men, the iron and tin and railroad barons, came very easily to make the same large assumption about the inexhaustibility of cheap labor. But, as we have seen in Carnegie’s troubles with his workers, the immigrant did not stay cowed forever. Henry Frick, Carnegie’s bosom partner in his steel enterprises, was a fanatical opponent of labor unions, but he was quick to see that the latest wave of immigrants could be employed as strikebreakers. One year he employed Hungarians to break a strike. But within a year or two he had to hire Italians to break a strike of Hungarians, who by then were beginning to learn a specialty. In an irritable moment Frick got off a profound remark. ‘The immigrant,’ he complained, ‘however illiterate or ignorant he may be, always learns too soon.’ Not soon enough, however, to deny these industrial tycoons their imperial hold on the raw materials of industry and, in the person of John Pierpont Morgan, on the national economy itself.
The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, business climate, colonial rule, declining real wages, deliberate practice, European colonialism, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, land reform, land tenure, new economy, RAND corporation, strikebreaker, union organizing
But those who really have the advantage are the ones who are financing our “growth,” those from abroad, the foreigners. If a bank will not extend credit without a guarantee of profit, much less will the foreigners finance our development and dispense with their profits. Our external debt amounts to about $10 billion.206 External interests not only sustain oppression by their support of the military governments; they are more directly in the picture as developers, expropriators and strike-breakers. Bishop Casadaliga claims that in Sao Felix where latifundias are frequently owned by MNCs, the foreign entities have fought his mild efforts more aggressively than the locals: “Of the attacks I have suffered the majority have been ordered by the administrators and technocrats of the multinational latifundios.”207 The Open Letter quoted at the beginning of this section is more passionate still in describing the sorrowful reality that has “demolished the image of ‘the great democracy of the North’,” including “the scandalous intervention of the United States in the installation and maintenance of military regimes” throughout Latin America; “the shameful Panamanian enclave with its military training centers” in which the murderers receive their higher education from U.S. instructors in techniques of “systematic persecution” and “scientifically perfected torture”; the activities of “the CIA and other agencies of penetration and espionage”; “the sometimes subtle and other times brazen domination and colonization practices” which have gradually eliminated the possibilities of independent economic development; and the “silent genocide, killing with hunger, with malnutrition, with tuberculosis the children of working families without resources.”
., p. 58. 116. Ibid., p. 30. 117. Ibid., pp. 52-53. 118. See chapter 2, pp. 70-71. 119. Wideman, op. cit., p. 64. The methods of classification of land eligible for reform has tended to accelerate conversion to intensive uses qualifying for exemption, with further displacement effects. 120. There have been strikes even under martial law, but thousands of workers have been detained by the military in strike-breaking efforts, and there can be no question but that the number and effectiveness of strikes has been greatly reduced. 121. Wideman, op. cit., p. 69. 122. Ibid. 123. Tom Jones, “Philippines Report,” Matchbox (Amnesty International), Winter, 1977, p. 13. 124. This is quite reasonable since Marcos bears direct responsibility for the system of torture. And Marcos’s masters in the background, such as McNamara (as head of the World Bank), Nixon, Ford, Carter, and their top advisers complete the circle of responsibility in the same fashion as Johnson-Rusk-Nixon-Kissinger did for the multitude of Mylais in Vietnam. 125.
In its Report No. 3 on Gulf & Western In the Dominican Republic, dated May 1968, G&W notes that “Wage scales in the Free Zone are established by the Dominican Republic’s Secretariat of Labor....” At the time the report was written the minimum wage in the Free Zone was 55¢ an hour according to G&W (p. 53), 34¢ an hour according to Michael Flannery. 168. In its 1978 report on Dominican Operations G&W stresses the fact that it was a successor to South Puerto Rico Sugar Company (SPR), which still controlled operations at the time of the strike-breaking. G&W contends that the SPR management was “imperious” and that there was “chronic neglect of employees, wages, working conditions and health care.” An example of imperiousness was the fact that “At 5 p.m. every day the city water supply was shut off so SPR executives could water their lawns” (p. 29). This practice was stopped immediately, and G&W contends that radical changes took place otherwise, but no independent union yet exists and wages are low.
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Bonfire of the Vanities, Buckminster Fuller, edge city, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, Menlo Park, Ronald Reagan, stakhanovite, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen
And if drugs were what unlocked the doors and enabled you to do this thing and realize all this that was in you, then so let it be ... Not even on Perry Lane did people really seem to catch the thrust of the new book he was working on, Sometimes a Great Notion. It was about the head of a logging clan, Hank Stamper, who defies a labor union and thereby the whole community he lives in by continuing his logging operation through a strike. It was an unusual book. It was a novel in which the strikers are the villains and the strikebreaker is the hero. The style was experimental and sometimes difficult. And the main source of "mythic" reference was not Sophocles or even Sir James Frazer but... yes, Captain Marvel. The union leaders, the strikers, and the townspeople were the tarantulas, all joyfully taking their vow: "We shall wreak vengeance and abuse on all whose equals we are not... and 'will to equality' shall henceforth be the name for virtue; and against all that has power we want to raise our clamor!"
All of these qualities are exhibited, in even higher degree, in Sometimes a Great Notion. Here he has told a fascinating story in a fascinating way." John Barkham of the Saturday Review said: "A novelist of unusual talent and imagination ... a huge, turbulent tale ..." Time said it was a big novel—but that it was overwritten and had failed. Some of the critics seemed put out with the back-woodsy, arch, yep-bub-golly setting of the novel and the unusual theme of the heroic strikebreaker and the craven union men. Leslie Fiedler wrote an ambivalent review in the Herald Tribune's Book Week, but in any case it was a long, front-page review by a major critic. Newsweek said the book "rejects the obligations of art and therefore ends up as a windy, detailed mock-epic barrel-chested counterfeit of life." Orville Prescott in The New York Times called it "A Tiresome Literary Disaster" and said: "His monstrous book is the most insufferably pretentious and the most totally tiresome novel I have had to read in many years."
1960s counterculture, affirmative action, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, desegregation, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, payday loans, post-industrial society, post-oil, price mechanism, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yom Kippur War
He advocated sped-up elections, expansion of the NLRB from five to seven members, and measures penalizing law-breaking companies with both double back pay for illegally discharged workers, and debarment from federal contracts. He was silent on a provision that gave unions equal access to employees if employers addressed workers on company time or property. Another provision that did not please the president allowed strikers who were replaced by strikebreakers to return to their old jobs if the strike was over an initial contract. According to existing law, strikebreakers could retain their jobs in normal strikes over economic issues, but not in representational elections. But often firms that lost a bargaining election, like Stevens’s, then refused to bargain over an initial contract. Because most newly certified unions were weak, many thought that giving unions this extra protection would help, especially in the South.
Fire and Steam: A New History of the Railways in Britain by Christian Wolmar
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Beeching cuts, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, cross-subsidies, financial independence, hiring and firing, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, railway mania, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, strikebreaker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, working poor, yield management
National Railway Museum. 19. Locomotives on the Highland Railway, 1890s. Milepost 92½. 20. Midland Railway porters unloading milk, 1890. National Railway Museum. 21. Train driver, 1907. Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis. 22. Women railway workers, 1917. National Railway Museum. 23. Ambulance train, c. 1915. Imperial War Museum. 24. Accident at Penistone, south Yorkshire, 1916. Arthur Trevena Collection. 25. Strike-breaking staff and volunteers, 1926. National Railway Museum. 26. Southern Railway poster, 1926. Milepost 92½. 27. Interior of a London, Midland & Scottish refreshment car, 1920s. Milepost 92½. 28. ‘Take Me By The Flying Scotsman’ poster, 1932. Milepost 92½. 29. ‘So Swiftly Home’ poster, 1932. National Railway Museum. 30. A4 Pacific locomotives, c. 1938. Milepost 92½. 31. Post Office carriage, 1935.
Here they are working on gas lamps at the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway’s Horwich works in Greater Manchester in May 1917. Ambulance trains with extensive medical facilities, including a pharmacy, were widely used in the First World War, carrying a total of 2,680,000 soldiers. This spectacular accident at Penistone, south Yorkshire in 1916 did not result in any casualties because the subsidence which caused it started relatively slowly. Strike-breaking staff and volunteers posing on a London, Midland & Scottish locomotive at St Enoch Station, Glasgow during the General Strike of 1926. The railway companies were keen to advertise their facilities for travellers wishing to venture further a field. This poster produced for the Southern Railway in 1926 promoted rail services that linked with Atlantic Ocean crossings by the White Star, the world’s largest liner at the time.
The Great Railroad Revolution by Christian Wolmar
1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, accounting loophole / creative accounting, banking crisis, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, intermodal, James Watt: steam engine, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban sprawl
There were, in truth, probably not as many attacks as suggested by the sensationalist publicity they attracted, but the robberies certainly had an impact on the railroad companies. Anxious to maintain the image of being a safe form of transportation, they strengthened their mail cars and improved their security. Most controversially, they employed security guards from the Pinkerton Agency to act as a kind of private army not only to protect the trains but also to pursue actively the perpetrators. The Pinkertons, whose uncompromising methods came to the fore in strikebreaking toward the end of the century (see next chapter), almost matched the robbers in their ruthlessness. The most famous of the train robbers was the James-Younger gang led by Jesse James and his brother Frank, former Confederate guerrillas in the Civil War who turned to a life of banditry. Having robbed various banks and become outlaws, in July 1873 the gang turned to train robbery on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad near Adair, Iowa.
The Knights were less concerned with the immediate terms and conditions of the workers, but rather sought to replace the wage system with cooperative enterprises—in the words of their leader, Terence Powderly, “to make each man his own employer.”24 However, in March 1886, when one of their members in Texas was fired for attending a union meeting by the Texas & Pacific Railroad, owned by the railroad baron Jay Gould, the men walked out, and Powderly used the opportunity to demand a minimum wage of $1.50 and recognition of the union. Gould refused to make any concessions, and thousands of men on his other railroads, which included the Union Pacific and the Missouri Pacific, also walked out. Crucially, the Brotherhood of Engineers did not support the strike and kept working. Gould brought in strikebreakers and the well-organized Pinkerton thugs, boasting, “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” Violence escalated. The workers destroyed many railroad facilities and indulged in acts of sabotage—for example, letting locomotives run out of steam, thereby putting them out of operation for at least six hours. However, the workers were under fierce pressure, and the intimidation from the militia in several states, supported by gangs of thuggish Pinkerton men recruited by Gould, forced them back to work in the summer of 1886.
Year 501 by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, land reform, land tenure, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor
The National Association of Manufacturers warned in 1938 of the “hazard facing industrialists” in “the newly realized political power of the masses”; “Unless their thinking is directed we are definitely headed for adversity.” A counteroffensive was quickly launched, including the traditional recourse to murderous state violence. Recognizing that more would be needed, corporate America turned to “scientific methods of strike-breaking,” “human relations,” huge PR campaigns to mobilize communities against “outsiders” preaching “communism and anarchy” and seeking to destroy our communities, and so on. These devices, building upon corporate projects of earlier years, were put on hold during the war, but revived immediately after, as legislation and propaganda chipped away at labor’s gains, with no little help from the union leadership, leading finally to the situation now prevailing.14 The shock of the labor victories of the New Deal period was particularly intense because of the prevailing assumption in the business community that labor organizing and popular democracy had been buried forever.
The London Times ridiculed “this Scotch-Yankee plutocrat meandering through Scotland in a four-in-hand opening public libraries, while the wretched workmen who supply him with ways and means for his self-glorification are starving in Pittsburgh.” The far-right British press ridiculed Carnegie’s preachings on “the rights and duties of wealth,” describing his self-congratulatory book Triumphant Democracy as “a wholesome piece of satire” in the light of his brutal methods of strike-breaking, which should be neither “permitted nor required in a civilized community,” the London Times added. In the US, strikers were depicted as “brigands,” “blackmailers whom all the world loathes” (Harper’s Weekly), a “Mob Bent on Ruin” (Chicago Tribune), “anarchists and socialist[s]...preparing to blow up...the Federal building and take possession” of the money in the treasury vaults (Washington Post).
Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order by Noam Chomsky
Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, declining real wages, deindustrialization, full employment, invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, manufacturing employment, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, Washington Consensus
The study was carried out under NAFTA rules in response to a complaint by telecommunications workers on illegal labor practices by Sprint. The complaint was upheld by the US National Labor Relations Board, which ordered trivial penalties after years of delay, standard procedure. The NAFTA study, by Cornell University Labor economist Kate Bronfenbrenner, was authorized for release by Canada and Mexico, but delayed by the Clinton administration. It reveals a significant impact of NAFTA on strike-breaking. About half of union organizing efforts are disrupted by employer threats to transfer production abroad; for example, by placing signs reading “Mexico Transfer Job” in front of a plant where there is an organizing drive. The threats are not idle: when such organizing drives nevertheless succeed, employers close the plant in whole or in part at triple the pre-NAFTA rate (about 15 percent of the time).
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, big-box store, bonus culture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, financial innovation, housing crisis, invisible hand, Naomi Klein, obamacare, payday loans, profit maximization, profit motive, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, union organizing, Washington Consensus, white flight, Works Progress Administration
.”* Erasing class distinctions in this self-serving way is one of the conservative revival’s great recurring techniques. There is no better instance of this erasure than the enormous rally held in West Virginia on Labor Day 2009 for the express purpose of announcing the solidarity between coal miners and the coal mine operators who employ them. The get-together featured the protest favorites Sean Hannity and Ted Nugent and was presided over by Don Blankenship, the CEO of Massey Energy, a pollution-spewing, strikebreaking mogul of the old school.2 Dressed in American flag clothing and boasting that the gathering had cost him “a million dollars or so,” Blankenship took the stage and declared that he was there to “defend American labor because no one else will.” Specifically, the CEO was standing tall against “our government leaders,” who are, with their safety and environmental meddling, “American workers’ worst nightmare.”
Chomsky on Mis-Education by Noam Chomsky
The study was carried out under NAFTA rules in response to a complaint by telecommunications workers on illegal labor practices by Sprint. The complaint was upheld by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, which ordered trivial penalties after years of delay, the standard procedure. The NAFTA study, by Cornell University labor economist Kate Bronfenbrenner, has been authorized for release by Canada and Mexico but not by the Clinton administration. It reveals a significant impact of NAFTA on strikebreaking. About half of union organizing efforts are disrupted by employer threats to transfer production abroad, for example, by placing signs reading “Mexico Transfer Job” in front of a plant where there is an organizing drive. The threats are not idle: when such organizing drives nevertheless succeed, employers close the plant in whole or in part at triple the pre-NAFTA rate (about 15 percent of the time).
A History of Zionism by Walter Laqueur
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, new economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, strikebreaker, the market place, éminence grise
The revisionists had meanwhile set up their own (‘national’) trade union, which enjoyed the patronage of some factory owners and leading orange growers eager to break the Histadrut monopoly of employment exchanges. In Petah Tiqva, Kfar Saba and elsewhere, they negotiated directly with the revisionists to get workers for their enterprises, bypassing the Histadrut. On some occasions, such as the strike in the Frumin biscuit factory, revisionists acted as strike-breakers.* They argued that they were fighting not the Jewish worker but merely the Histadrut which, far from being unpolitical in character, had become a tool of the Socialist parties and discriminated against revisionist workers. The labour leaders regarded this as a deliberate attempt to break the power of the trade unions on behalf of the ‘class enemy’, and ultimately to establish a semi-fascist dictatorship.
.† He did not want to minimise the role of labour in Eretz Israel, nor did he have any quarrel with the Socialist ideal. But the monopoly of the Histadrut and its privileged status had to be broken. The class struggle, which Zionism could ill afford, was to be replaced by a national system of arbitration. The Revisionist Labour Federation was founded in spring 1934. Its activities were attacked by the Histadrut, which regarded them as systematic and dangerous strike-breaking on a massive scale which had to be fought tooth and nail. Jabotinsky’s decision was not welcomed by some of his followers, who regarded the conflict which was bound to ensue as unnecessary, harmful both for the revisionist movement and for Zionism in general. They predicted, quite correctly, that as a result of establishing a separate trade union movement, revisionism would be identified in the public mind with the employers and their interests, and thus lose much of its popular appeal.
In its foreign political orientation enmity towards Britain was the one consistent factor; after 1942 it displayed pro-Soviet sympathies. In contrast to Irgun, the Sternists regarded themselves as ‘revolutionary Socialists’, believing that the best way to gain the support of the Soviet Union was to take an active part in the liberation of the whole Middle East from the imperialist yoke.† They advocated a planned economy, opposed strike-breaking, and adopted the slogan of a Socialist Hebrew state.‡ This ideological transformation was not altogether unique. In neighbouring Arab countries, notably Egypt and Syria, groups of young intellectuals and officers, who up to 1942-3 had gravitated towards fascism and had believed in an Axis victory, later on transferred their political sympathies to the Soviet Union and subscribed to a Socialism of sorts.
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, gravity well, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, strikebreaker, University of East Anglia
Almost half the university’s students took part in strike-breaking activities, so the authorities had no choice but to postpone the end-of-year examinations, prolonging the merriment.9 Dirac heard from his mother that trams and buses in Bristol were still running, a relief to his father, so weakened by grief that he could not walk the mile between his home and the Merchant Venturers’ School. Fate was about to bring Charles even more sorrow: he heard from Geneva in early March that his mother had died.10 The collapse of the General Strike was important in the development of political thought in Cambridge. The strength of opposition to the strike in the university demonstrated the unwillingness of its dons to disrupt the political status quo; even some of its socialist academics had been strike-breakers. The humiliation of May 1926 was one of the main motivations of a few Marxist scientists who were determined to establish radical politics in Cambridge and then to spread the word across the country.
The Making of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr
anti-communist, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business climate, Corn Laws, Etonian, garden city movement, illegal immigration, imperial preference, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Red Clydeside, rent control, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, V2 rocket, wage slave, women in the workforce
As a forest of hands rose his language became wilder: ‘Sedition or no sedition, I want to say that if our men are murdered I am going to take a gun and I will shoot Lord Devonport’ – he being the leader of the employers with whom he was negotiating. Three weeks later, at Hyde Park, Tillett was again promising violence, and indeed revolvers were used, and men wounded, soon after in fighting between strikers and strike-breakers. Tillett then appealed to God to strike Lord Devonport dead and the crowd chanted back: ‘He shall die, he shall die.’ That strike failed, but there were waves of strikes in 1911–12 in the railways, textile mills, mines and shipyards which shook the Edwardian elite, Liberal and Tory. Revolutionary trade unionism, then fashionable on the left in France and America, was thought a more serious threat than socialist parties.
It is reckoned that at least half of the British Communist Party’s 5,000 members were arrested, including the Indian Communist MP for Battersea, Shapurji Saklatava, who was charged for saying the Union Jack had only protected fools and rogues, and for telling the army not to fire on strikers. Britain’s small band of fascists responded with hysterical racist abuse. On the fifth day of the strike the government made its decisive move. London was going short of flour and bread: at 4 o’clock on the morning of 8 May a convoy of more than a hundred lorries, escorted by twenty armoured cars, went to the docks, to where strike-breakers had been quietly ferried on the Thames to avoid the pickets. Food was loaded and returned to a new depot in Hyde Park; the crowds watched but did not interfere. This was probably the psychological turning point, though the TUC and government continued to trade propaganda blows, and reports began piling up of accidents caused by volunteer drivers. Almost inevitably, and with echoes of the first winter on the Western Front, strikers and police were soon playing football matches.
Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, business climate, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global reserve currency, Howard Zinn, labour market flexibility, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage tax deduction, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce
So to destroy the anti-Nazi resistance in Greece and restore the Nazi collaborators to power there, it took a war in which maybe 160,000 people were killed and 800,000 became refugees—the country still hasn’t recovered from it. 72 In Korea, it meant killing 100,000 people in the late 1940s, before what we call the “Korean War” even started. 73 But in Italy it was enough just to carry out subversion—and the United States took that very seriously. So we funded ultra-right Masonic Lodges and terrorist paramilitary groups in Italy, the Fascist police and strikebreakers were brought back, we withheld food, we made sure their economy couldn’t function. 74 In fact, the first National Security Council Memorandum, N.S.C. 1, is about Italy and the Italian elections. And what it says is that if the Communists come to power in the election through legitimate democratic means, the United States must declare a national emergency: the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean should be put on alert, the United States should start subversive activities in Italy to overthrow the Italian government, and we should begin contingency planning for direct military intervention—that’s if the resistance wins a legitimate democratic election. 75 And this was not taken as a joke, not at all—in fact, there were people at the top levels of the U.S. government who took even more extreme positions than that.
They in fact said in their publications things like, “We have about five or six years to save the private enterprise system.” 74 Well, one thing they did was to launch a huge propaganda program in the United States, aimed at reversing these attitudes. 75 It was actually called at the time part of “the everlasting battle for the minds of men,” who have to be “indoctrinated in the capitalist story”; that’s a standard straight quote from the P.R. literature. 76 So in the early 1950s, the Advertising Council [an organization begun during World War II and funded by the business community to assist the government with propaganda services at home] was spending huge amounts of money to propagandize for what they called “the American way.” 77 The public relations budget for the National Association of Manufacturers I think went up by about a factor of twenty. 78 About a third of the textbooks in schools were simply provided by business. 79 They had 20 million people a week watching propaganda films about worker-management unity, after the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 allowed propaganda to be shown to basically captive audiences in companies. 80 They continued on with the “scientific methods of strikebreaking” that had been developed in the late 1930s: devoting huge resources into propaganda instead of goon-squads and breaking knees. 81 And it was all tied up with the “anti-Communist” crusade at the time—that’s the true meaning of what’s referred to as “McCarthyism,” which started well before Joseph McCarthy got involved and was really launched by business and liberal members of the Democratic Party and so on. 82 It was a way of using fear and jingoism to try to undermine labor rights and functioning democracy.
back-to-the-land, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, capital controls, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, informal economy, land tenure, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Occupy movement, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rising living standards, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, union organizing, We are the 99%, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, young professional
‘My colleague favours an immediate all-out strike,’ Shafiq informs the British postmen and train drivers huddled under the palm trees. ‘But I favour a warning strike to start with. What would you do?’ A bloke from London Underground asks: ‘What are your plans for picketing?’ Both men look blank. There is further puzzlement among the hijab-clad young female medics who have joined us. After a few minutes back and forth in Arabic and cockney, the Brits explain the idea of blocking access to the workplace to prevent strike-breakers. ‘This had not occurred to us,’ say the Egyptians. On May Day 2011, as Shafiq and the secular medics jostle with the Brotherhood for control of the stage at the Doctors’ Union, workers begin filling Tahrir Square. It is, says Hossam el-Hamalawy, the first real May Day since 1951. The red flag does not predominate: instead people arrive with homemade banners, always with middle-aged men in the lead, chanting and singing.
4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Lean Startup, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator
The number of free public libraries in America grew prodigiously in the 1890s and 1900s, precipitated by grants and donations from rich men, such as the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who hoped to whitewash their fortunes by erecting “a brown-stone buildin’ in ivry town in the country with me name over it,” as the columnist Finley Peter Dunne wrote in the voice of his Mr. Dooley character. Carnegie began to spend millions of dollars founding libraries for the benefit of the American underclass not a decade after sending armed Pinkerton strikebreakers to quell a labor dispute at one of his steel plants in Homestead, Pennsylvania. (After subduing the Homestead union in 1892, Carnegie subsequently blacklisted many of its members from steel-industry employment.) Six years later, when Carnegie dedicated the library he founded in Homestead, he spoke of his hope that it would serve to “establish a higher code of conduct, a stricter regard for the proprieties of life, and to produce the class of man incapable of anything disgraceful”—such as going on strike, presumably.4 The donors’ dappled motives notwithstanding, their charity had essentially benevolent results.
Revolution Business by Stross, Charles
Until, on the third day, the bus he was riding from Abadon reached Patwin (which Miriam would have pointed to on a map and called "Vallejo"), and ran into a general strike, and barricades, and grim-faced men beneath a blue flag slashed diagonally with a cross of St. Andrew beneath the glaring face of a wild turkey. "Ye can gae nae farthur," said the leader of the band blocking the high street, "wi'out an aye calling ye strikebreaker." He stood in front of the bus with arms crossed in front of him and the stolid self-confidence born of having two brothers-in-arms standing behind him with hunting rifles and an elderly and unreliable-looking carronade-probably looted from the town hall's front steps-to back them up. "I'm no' arguing wi't'artillery," said the driver, turning to address his passengers. "End of t' road!" An hour later, by means of various secret handshakes and circumlocutions, Erasmus was talking to the leader of the strike force, a lean, rat-faced man called Dunstable.
Glasgow: The Real Mean City by Malcolm Archibald
There were a number of riots in the first half of the century, as political and social tensions erupted into violence, and during the Dalmarnock riots of 1816, the Radical riots of 1819 and the subsequent Rising of 1820, the military were called in, and again in 1837 when the cotton spinners and miners rioted. That was a bad year altogether, with an economic downturn and high unemployment. There was resistance by combinations, as unions were known, with huge numbers of men protesting in the street and the fewer than 300 police unable to cope. Any nobs, as the strikebreakers were called, were liable to be attacked, and in July one nob was shot dead. A £500 reward was offered for information about the murder. Two informants met Sheriff Allison in a vault under the college in a cloak-and-dagger arrangement that included a creep through a back door at night. The informants told of a meeting by the leaders of the combinations in the Black Boy Tavern, and of an alleged plot to murder all the masters and nobs.
Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges
1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration
The act forbade secondary or “common situs” picketing, closed shops, and monetary donations by unions to federal political campaigns. All union officers were forced to sign noncommunist affidavits or lose their positions. Heavy restrictions were placed on union shops, while individual states were allowed to pass “right-to-work laws” that outlawed union shops. The Federal Government was empowered to obtain legal strikebreaking injunctions if an impending or current strike “imperiled the national health or safety.” The act effectively demobilized the labor movement. It severely curtailed the ability to organize and strike and purged the last vestiges of militant labor leaders from the ranks of unions. With the passage of Taft-Hartley the power of labor to fight back effectively against the corporate state died. Labor, once the beating heart of progressive radical movements, became as impotent as the arts, the media, the church, the universities, and the Democratic Party.
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration
Those who left the South were more likely to become literate than those who stayed behind, and much more likely to move into higher-paid work than agricultural labor.101 Of course, migration was not a perfect solution. Although northern states lacked Jim Crow laws, many public amenities were informally segregated. Some restaurants refused service to African Americans. Black workers were often the last hired and the first fired in higher-paying jobs. They were used as strikebreakers, which precipitated race riots.102 The black urban poor used community resourcefulness to survive. An illegal sector including theft, prostitution, and vibrant numbers games prospered in some northern cities, “anticipating the emergence of the contemporary underground economy.”103 Recognizing that African Americans in the North faced economic segregation, DuBois advocated economic cooperation.
call centre, card file, cuban missile crisis, Ford paid five dollars a day, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, job satisfaction, Ralph Nader, strikebreaker, traveling salesman, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Yogi Berra, zero day
The only mistake you could make is to get caught. You had this gut fear inside: What did I tell this guy last time he was here? That no longer worries me. I always tell the same story to everybody. Everything I do in business must be aboveboard—must be something I can face God with once I appear before Him after I die. An issue of the magazine features in graphic detail the successful exploits of a strikebreaker in Canada. “Maybe strikebreaking is the wrong word to use. What that person does is supplies, in a competitive system of labor and management. Strikes is one of the legitimate weapons labor can use. Management also has a right to keep functioning. Because of physical threats made upon management, most companies are not willing to continue to function. Law enforcement has not been able to guarantee the personal safety of people for their right to run their businesses if their employees don’t wish to work.
Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta
23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management
Inventing things, he once said, “wasn’t any good; you really had to get them out into the world and have people use them to have any effect. So probably from when I was 12, I knew I was going to start a company eventually.” When he thought about the kind of company he wanted, Larry told me, he thought of his grandfather, an assembly-line worker in the Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan, who during sit-down strikes fearfully carried a heavy iron pipe wrapped in leather as protection from what he described as strike-breaking “goons.” Happy employees, Larry came to believe, are more productive. The rival for Larry’s attention was music. He had begun playing the saxophone as a child, and he played with considerable skill. After finishing his first year at East Lansing High School, Larry was among the talented musicians chosen to attend summer sessions at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan.
affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional
It would take another four years, but eventually Ford caved and signed a contract with the United Auto Workers that would usher in a half century of union power in Northern industrial cities. Around the same time, the federal government also helped strengthen the unions’ hand. The National Labor Relations Act, passed in 1935, made it more difficult to fire striking workers and led to the formation of closed shops, where unions and firms agreed that all workers in a given facility must join the union. In these closed shops, it was impossible to hire nonunion strikebreakers, which gave workers greater power to press their demands on manufacturers. A company that has invested millions or billions in fixed infrastructure can’t easily move if its workers press for higher wages, more benefits, shorter hours, or other concessions. If striking workers take control of that valuable infrastructure, as they do during a sit-down strike, they can cause such financial pain that management will often give in.
To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton
affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, global village, informal economy, invisible hand, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, price anchoring, Ralph Nader, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, walkable city, Washington Consensus, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, Works Progress Administration
Gifford Pinchot, Intrapreneuring: Why You Â�Don’t Have to Leave the Corporation to Become an Entrepreneur (New York: Harper & Row, 1985). 61. Donald M. Dible, Up Your OWN Organization! A Handbook for the Employed, the Unemployed, and the Self-Employed on How to Start and Finance a New Business (Santa Clara, CA: Entrepreneur Press, 1971). Subsequent editions dropped the reference to unemployment, and eventually replaced it with “entrepreneur.” 62. Stephen H. Norwood, Strikebreaking and Intimidation: Mercenaries and Masculinity in Twentieth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 15, 26. 63. http://webs.wichita.edu/?=markl&p=pizzahut; accessed December 1, 2008. 64. Vesper, Entrepreneurship Education 1985, xii, quotation on p. xiii. 65. James S. Fairweather, “Academic Research and Instruction: The Industrial Connection,” JHE 60, no. 4 (July 1989): 393–94. 320 NOTES TO PAGES 158 – 1 6 3 66.
London: The Autobiography by Jon E. Lewis
On 8 May Churchill organized a supply convoy from the docks to Hyde Park with the Grenadier Guards and armoured cars as escort. On the following day Churchill ordered pockets of troops to be stationed around London. There were running battles between strikers and police in New Cross, Deptford and Poplar but the TUC had little stomach for constitutional or armed conflict with the government. Even more detrimental to the effectiveness of the strike was the vast army of volunteer strike-breakers (as many as 114,000 in London alone) who had come forward to staff essential services. MY SYMPATHIES HAVE always been on the side of the underdogs and the underpaid, but they were not in favour of this general strike, which was an attempt by the T.U.C. to coerce the Government of the country and take over its power. It was an attack on our Parliamentary system and tradition, and, if successful, would have been the tyranny of a minority over the commonweal.
The Rough Guide to Vienna by Humphreys, Rob
The next day several thousand workers spontaneously descended on the Justizpalast (see p.94) and set ﬁre to it. Taken by surprise by the size of the demonstration, the mounted police panicked and ﬁred point-blank into the crowd. In the ensuing chaos, 89 people were killed, and up to a thousand wounded, and the Justizpalast burned to the ground. The SDAP called an indeﬁnite national strike, but refused to call out the Schutzbund. With the heavily armed Heimwehr acting as strike-breakers, the general strike was easily crushed and civil war was postponed for a few more years. Austro-fascism The onset of the Great Depression further destabilized what was already a fragile democracy. In the elections of November 1930, the Heimwehr, under Prince Starhemberg, won its ﬁrst parliamentary seats for its newly formed political wing, the Heimatblock. The Social Democrats, meanwhile, emerged for the ﬁrst time since 1919 as the largest single party, with 41 percent of the vote, but once more it was the Christian Socials who went on to form a series of weak coalition governments.
The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin
banking crisis, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, cashless society, collective bargaining, computer age, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, general-purpose programming language, George Gilder, global village, hiring and firing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, Thorstein Veblen, Toyota Production System, trade route, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration
There is an enormous tragedy in the making unless the United States acts, and acts promptly, upon a problem that affects millions of people and the whole structure of the nation. 12 CAUGHT BETWEEN TECHNOLOGIES Although African-Americans were unaware of it at the time of their trek north, a second technolOgical revolution had already begun in the manufacturing industries of Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and New York that once again would lock them out of gainful employment. This time the economic displacement created in its wake a new and permanent underclass in the inner cities and the conditions for widespread social unrest and violence for the remainder of the century. At first, blacks found limited access to unskilled jobs in the auto, steel, rubber, chemical, and meat-packing industries. Northern industrialists often used them as strikebreakers or to fill the vacuum left by the decline in immigrant workers from abroad. The fortunes of black workers in the North improved steadily until 1954 and then began a forty-year historical decline. In the mid-1950s, automation began taking its toll in the nation's manufacturing sector. Hardest hit were unskilled jobs in the very industries where black workers were concentrated. Between 1953 and 1962, 1.6 million blue collar jobs were lost in the manufacturing 74 THE T H I R DIN D U S T R I A L REV 0 L UTI 0 N sector. 13 Whereas the unemployment rate for black Americans had never exceeded 8.5 percent between 1947 and 1953, and the white rate of unemployment had never gone beyond 4.6 percent, by 1964 blacks were experiencing an unemployment rate of 12.4 percent while white unemployment was only 5.9 percent.
Sugar: A Bittersweet History by Elizabeth Abbott
agricultural Revolution, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, flex fuel, land tenure, Mason jar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working poor
“It’s hard . . . the blade getting dull and mud-caked as I slash . . . and on to the end of the long long row and the next and the next and it will never be done thinning and weeding and weeding and weeding,” laments the narrator in Joy Kogawa’s Obasan. Cree women and children labor on a sugar-beet farm in Raymond, Alberta, c. 1910. Filter presses turning beet into sugar, Greeley, Colorado, 1908. On March 24, strike-breaking farmer Charles Arnold fired at unarmed unionists, killing one and wounding four others. Despite witnesses to his rampage, an all-Anglo jury acquitted Arnold of all charges. This injustice inflamed the strikers and reinforced their determination to win. On March 30, after tense negotiations, the beet growers conceded most of the union’s demands and the strike ended. The workers’ victory had a sad postscript.
Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government by Robert Higgs, Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr.
Alistair Cooke, clean water, collective bargaining, credit crunch, declining real wages, endowment effect, fiat currency, full employment, hiring and firing, income per capita, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration
Though much less costly in lives and property, Chicago's Haymarket riot of 92 History 1886 provoked widespread fears for the stability and order of society. In July 1892 a strike at Carnegie's Homestead works near Pittsburgh degenerated into a small war between private armies; casualties mounted to sixteen dead and some sixty wounded before the militia arrived to restore order. Simultaneously, far to the west, striking miners battled strikebreakers in another industrial free-for-all at the silver mines of Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. Again troops had to be called out. At Buffalo in August 1892 thousands of state militiamen intervened in a strike by switchmen. Apprehension of impending anarchy spread across the land. The public's outrage focused on two aspects of the disorderly industrial relations, especially those involving the railroads: the violence itself, which directly threatened lives and property, and the spillover costs.
Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan
‘Yeah.’ The Americas agent waved a hand. ‘I don’t advertise the fact. Little squirt’s a union organiser in the banana belt, up around Bocas, where we were. Not the kind of thing you put on a Trade and Investment CV if you can avoid it.’ ‘I guess not.’ Lopez’s eyes went hooded. ‘I try to keep the worst of the shit from raining on him. I made contacts that are good for that much. And when the strike-breakers do come round, I pay his hospital bills, I feed his kids. Gets back on his feet and he drops by to insult me again.’ Chris thought feelingly of Erik Nyquist. ‘Family, huh?’ ‘Yeah, family.’ The agent lost his drugged introspection. Shot Chris a sideways look. ‘We’re just talking here, right, boss? You’re not going to go telling tales on me to the partners?’ ‘Joaquin, I don’t give a shit what your brother does for a living, and nor would any of Shorn’s partners.
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, falling living standards, fiat currency, full employment, German hyperinflation, housing crisis, Internet Archive, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, mittelstand, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, quantitative easing, rent control, risk/return, strikebreaker, trade route
The consequence of this espousal of a balanced budget, spending cuts and tight money by the two major English-speaking powers, was a slump known in its time, though not for long, as the ‘Great Depression’.16 In mid-1921, between a fifth and a quarter of the insured working population of Britain was out of work: 2.4 million people.17 Even in Britain, the harsh new economic policies led to strikes and riots, and were justified by a government rhetoric that exploited the fears of the middle classes. In America, the political atmosphere was thick with the ‘Red Scare’. Attorney General Alexander Mitchell Palmer pushed through arrests and deportations of foreign activists and agitators (the so-called ‘Palmer Raids’), and there was a rise in violent strike-breaking activity. So, again, in the light of the slump in two of its biggest foreign markets, to whom was Germany supposed to export in order to earn the gold that would soon be demanded by the Allies under the terms of the VersaillesTreaty? In any case, the country remained in very poor shape politically. It was all very well for the two most well-established democracies, Britain and the USA, to subject their populations to ruthless post-war economic health cures, but could newly democratised Germany, in which the electorate was sharply – not to say violently – divided, risk such a daring strategy?
The Making of an Atlantic Ruling Class by Kees Van der Pijl
anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, collective bargaining, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, deskilling, diversified portfolio, European colonialism, floating exchange rates, full employment, imperial preference, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, North Sea oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, RAND corporation, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty
At the same time, government repression, invoking an ‘alien-subversive’ scare, mounted implacably. Persecution radicalized the socialist foreign language federations towards Bolshevism and broke up the Socialist Party — a split ‘almost entirely along the lines of national origin’.38 In the climate of sharp class conflict and ‘interiorized’ Anglo-Saxon chauvinism, capitalists purposely stimulated racism by using black strikebreakers against organized white workers. Race riots erupted in St. Louis, Chicago and Tulsa, while attempts by class-conscious blacks to appeal to the AFL were rebuffed by the segregationist leadership. At a meeting of the AFL Executive Council in 1917, Gompers reprimanded a Negro delegation for ‘somehow conveying the idea that they are to be petted or coddled and given special consideration and special privilege.
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford
asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, buy low sell high, credit crunch, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, fiat currency, financial independence, fudge factor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index card, index fund, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, Parkinson's law, passive income, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, strikebreaker, Thorstein Veblen, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond
Paid employees may do that as well, but there’s often as much (or more) pragmatism as principle in the job they do. Volunteers remind us about the best part of being human—precisely because they work for love, not money. While some people fear that having too many volunteers would create competition for jobs with workers who need the pay to survive, the kind of creative, self-motivated volunteers we are talking about will function more like entrepreneurs than like strikebreakers. As a volunteer you might initiate projects and processes that will eventually need paid employees to administrate and carry out. Volunteers have historically pointed to social needs that eventually get funded and even become professions. Visionaries eventually need educators to implement and teach their ideas. As a volunteer you can operate like human venture capital, increasing job opportunities for others in your community.
The end of history and the last man by Francis Fukuyama
affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, centre right, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, labour mobility, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, nuclear winter, open economy, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions
T h e anger that arises in j o b disputes seldom has to do with the absolute level of wages, but rather arises because management's wage offer does not adequately "recognize" the dignity of the w o r k e r . A n d this explains why strikers feel much m o r e intense anger at a strike breaker than at the management itself. Even though the strike breaker is nothing m o r e than a tool of management, he is despised as an abject person whose own sense of dignity was o v e r w h e l m e d by his desire for immediate economic gain. Unlike the o t h e r strik ers, the strikebreaker's desire won out o v e r his thymos. W e readily understand economic self-interest, but frequently ignore the way it is intimately b o u n d u p with thymotic selfassertion. Higher wages satisfy both the desire f o r material things of the desiring part of the soul, and the desire f o r recognition of the thymotic part. In political life, economic claims a r e seldom presented as simple demands for m o r e ; they a r e usually couched in terms of "economic justice."
The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby
1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War
Stressing “pure and simple unionism,” the AFL grew steadily as it worked for the immediate improvement of workers’ wages and conditions. Its initial openness to unskilled laborers, blacks, and women closed over time, in part because of the prejudices of the member unions, which forced segregation on black unions. They viewed women at best as part of a pool of labor that, like illegal immigrants today, kept wages down. At worst, they were likely strikebreakers. In keeping with its fierce loyalty to the federation’s core membership of white men, the AFL urged Congress to renew the 1882 immigration restriction on Chinese in 1901. Still, the AFL never enlisted more than 5 percent of the work force. It had an uphill struggle because native-born Americans who were moving into the city from the countryside after the Civil War experienced real improvements in their standard of living, bolstered by steady factory work, accessible medical clinics, and free public education.
banking crisis, barriers to entry, Beeching cuts, British Empire, combinatorial explosion, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, intermodal, iterative process, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, knowledge economy, linear programming, Network effects, New Urbanism, performance metric, railway mania, rent-seeking, strikebreaker, the market place, transaction costs
By 1900 several industries had become dominated by large and powerful trades unions, some of whose leaders sought to use strike action not only to improve wages and conditions of employment but also to challenge the traditional rights of employers over their workers. In manufacturing, mining, and transport, wage rates rose, basic hours of work fell, and productivity growth stagnated (Broadberry 1997, 2006). Labour disputes began to polarize political opinion. Some employers turned to confrontation, locking workers out before a strike could take effect, and hiring strike-breakers, while others agreed to conciliation. Some embraced novel forms of profit-sharing and part-ownership with employees, while others emphatically asserted their absolute rights as employers. Government began to legislate over worker’s rights and trade union representation, leading to high-profile court cases which resolved the immediate issues but often left more ill-feeling between the parties than there had been before.
Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately
barriers to entry, British Empire, California gold rush, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, megacity, music of the spheres, Peace of Westphalia, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, working poor
In 1922, the American Federation of Labor passed a resolution supporting modification of the Volstead Act to permit beer and light wines; the same resolution was passed every subsequent year. Prohibition was perceived as discriminatory against urban and factory workers, who had drunk beer in saloons rather than cocktails and so had suffered more than the rich, whose tastes in drinks were better catered to by bootleggers. The workers not only had to endure thirst but also violence as a result of Prohibition. Organized crime, flush with money from selling alcohol, moved into the strike-breaking business. Union leaders were murdered and workforces cowed by gangsters hired by unscrupulous industrialists. This unintended consequence of the great moral experiment sickened many Americans, as did the never-ending casualty register caused by toxic bootleg. In 1930, America suffered the worst outbreak of mass poisoningit had yet experienced, which crippled perhaps fifty thousand people for life.
City for Sale: The Transformation of San Francisco by Chester W. Hartman, Sarah Carnochan
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, business climate, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Loma Prieta earthquake, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, young professional
*Mendelsohn’s attempts to secure union support were no more successful than Woolf’s. John Elberling, later to become head of TOOR’s housing development group, provided this vignette: “Before he died in 1988, Peter Mendelsohn showed me TOOR’s letter to Harry Bridges appealing for help to stop Redevelopment’s demolition. . . . ‘We are your Brothers,’ they wrote. ‘We fought the bosses together. We stood with you against the police and strikebreakers on the Embarcadero during the General Strike. We sailed with you in the Merchant Marine during the War. The Redevelopment Agency is taking our homes. It’s all we have. We need your help.’ Bridges had returned the original letter, with a handwritten answer in the margin, ‘Sorry, but I’m on the other side [in] this, Harry.’ Peter cried. I asked him the next week for a copy, but he said he burned it because he was too ashamed.”
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight
Lewis’s tactics were radical, but his goals were entirely within the American system. In the spring of 1937, twenty-five thousand workers in the Mahoning Valley joined a national steel strike. Banned from the airwaves, they mounted loudspeakers on trucks and went neighborhood to neighborhood to announce the next meeting or picket. They also stockpiled baseball bats. Almost none of the strikers were black. In the past, black workers had been brought up from the South as strikebreakers, and for decades they were consigned to the dirtiest, most menial jobs in the mills, like scarfer—taking the defects out of the steel with a blowtorch. They shared a deep mutual wariness with their white coworkers, one that even the idealistic rhetoric of SWOC couldn’t overcome. It became known as the Little Steel strike. The organizers didn’t target the behemoth U.S. Steel, which had already yielded to labor’s economic power and recognized the union in March, having just the month before been given the object lesson of a successful sit-down strike by auto workers at General Motors plants in Flint, Michigan.
Necessary Illusions by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, full employment, Howard Zinn, Khyber Pass, land reform, New Journalism, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, union organizing
In a 1943 review, the ACLU praised the “state of civil liberty” during World War II in contrast to World War I, when governmental and other pressures “resulted in mob violence against dissenters, hundreds of prosecutions for utterances; in the creation of a universal volunteer vigilante system, officially recognized, to report dissent to the FBI; in hysterical hatred of everything German; in savage sentences for private expressions of criticism; and in suppression of public debate of the issues of the war and the peace.”190 But this positive evaluation of the state of civil liberty during World War II should be tempered in the light of the (Court-approved) dispatch of 110,000 Japanese-Americans to concentration camps; the 1940 Espionage Act and Smith Act,191 initiation of repressive activities of the FBI that persisted at a high level for at least thirty years; government strikebreaking and destruction of the Socialist Workers Party; full-scale martial law in Hawaii barring trial by jury, habeas corpus, and other due process rights; jailing of dozens of people for such seditious acts as counselling draft opposition; barring of dissident press from the mails and seizure of newspapers and other publications; surveillance of all international message traffic under wartime censorship; brutal treatment of conscientious objectors, etc.192 Meanwhile, left-liberal opinion called for restricting the Bill of Rights to “friends of democracy” and “exterminating” the “treason press,” while Reinhold Niebuhr stressed the “greater measure of coercion” required during a national emergency and approved infringements on “the freedom of organizations to spread subversive propaganda” and community drives “to eliminate recalcitrant and even traitorous elements.”193 All this was at a time when opposition to the war was minuscule, the United States was by far the richest and most powerful state in the world, and its national territory had not been threatened with attack since the War of 1812.
The Chomsky Reader by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, British Empire, business climate, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, land reform, land tenure, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, theory of mind, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, War on Poverty, éminence grise
NC: Well, maybe part of the reason is that in a certain sense I grew up in an alien culture, in the Jewish-Zionist cultural tradition, in an immigrant community in a sense, though of course others reacted to the same conditions quite differently. I suppose I am also a child of the Depression. Some of my earliest memories, which are very vivid, are of people selling rags at our door, of violent police strikebreaking, and other Depression scenes. Whatever the reason may be, I was very much affected by events of the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War, for example, though I was barely literate. The first article I wrote was an editorial in the school newspaper on the fall of Barcelona, a few weeks after my tenth birthday. The rise of nazism also made a deep impression, intensified perhaps because we were practically the only Jewish family in a bitterly anti-Semitic Irish and German Catholic neighborhood in which there was open support for the Nazis until December 1941.
The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone
affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, central bank independence, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, illegal immigration, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise
An extraordinary British anomaly, a tribute to the very high standards of the past, was that the trade unions were subject only to the criminal law: gratuitous mayhem, of a kind that no-one, in the English nineteenth century, would have expected. In 1906 a Liberal government anxious to please labour produced a trade union law that assumed common decency. The matter was not even debated, so that the then worthies could devote their oratorical talents to the Irish Question. The trade unions’ power to ‘picket’, i.e. to deter potential customers and strike-breakers, was unchallenged. That power was not supposed to include violence, but there was nothing to prevent strike pickets from roving around to stop firms that were indirectly involved in the affairs of the struck-against one. A would-be mining revolutionary, Arthur Scargill, sent men with brickbats to raid the power stations and stop the use of coal, and the police stood by, helpless. In the docks, a similar protection-racketeering prevailed.
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 by Anne Applebaum
affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land reform, language of flowers, means of production, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, price mechanism, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Slavoj Žižek, stakhanovite, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban planning
The ban went far beyond youth groups. In the first wave he banned, among others, the Hungarian Athletic Club (described by Szabad Nép as “the exclusive sports association of the highest, sharply antidemocratic circles”); the Prohaszka Work Community, a community service organization of Bishop Prohaszka; the Association of College Students; several Christian Democratic trade unions (“which made themselves known for their strike-breaking activities in the past”); and something called the Grand Order of Emericana, which was said to hold mystical ceremonies in the manner of the Ku Klux Klan. In the next wave Rajk banned the Hungarian Naval Association, a few local hunting clubs, the Count Széchenyi Association of War Veterans, and the Association of Christian Democratic Tobacco Workers. Among the groups banned were professional associations and guilds, all of which were said to be working “in the service of capitalist interests,” as well as “reactionary” social organizations, Catholic and Protestant organizations, and noncommunist trade unions.
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, colonial rule, David Brooks, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Monroe Doctrine, New Journalism, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, the market place, Thomas L Friedman
The Zionist Movement and the PLO n the pre-state period, the nuclei of the two present political groupings were in often bitter conflict, in part, class conflict. The Labor Party was a party of Jewish workers (NB: not workers; in fact, it opposed efforts by the Mandatory government to improve the conditions of Arab workers* while urging a boycott of their labor and produce),189 while the Revisionists, the precursors of Begin’s Herut, were in fact an offshoot of European fascism, with an ideology of submission of the mass to a single leader, strike-breaking, chauvinist fanaticism, and the rest of the familiar paraphernalia of the 1930s.190 I 9.1 “The Boundaries of Zionist Aspirations” * Few leaders of the pre-state Labor Party were so concerned with justice for the Arabs as Chaim Arlosoroff, who was assassinated in 1933 (by Revisionists, Labor alleged). It is therefore interesting to consider his views on this matter. In a 1932 memorandum to Chaim Weizmann, he wrote that a major problem was that the British administration was “considerate of the sensibilities of the Arabs and Moslems,” and “it would be very hard for them to depart from this practice to the extent of becoming responsive to our demands.”
bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bolshevik threat, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, capital controls, collective bargaining, Etonian, financial deregulation, German hyperinflation, index arbitrage, interest rate swap, margin call, Monroe Doctrine, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, paper trading, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, strikebreaker, the market place, the payments system, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Yom Kippur War, young professional
By the fall of 1902, schools were shut in New York for lack of coal, and the Republicans feared retribution in the elections. On October 11, 1902, Elihu Root, the secretary of war, met with Pierpont aboard Corsair III in the Hudson River. Roosevelt was ready to run the mines with soldiers and wanted Morgan’s support for an arbitration committee. TR was taking an enlightened stand for a president—strikebreaking had been the more typical presidential response. The approach appealed to Morgan, who liked order and negotiation. He and Root went straight to the Union Club to meet with some railroad presidents. Paternalistic in his own bank, he was more conciliatory toward the miners than the railroad presidents were. At a White House meeting on October 3, the railroad men angrily abused (ohn Mitchell, the young president of the United Mine Workers of America, who reacted with commendable dignity.
The Defence of the Realm by Christopher Andrew
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Clive Stafford Smith, collective bargaining, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, large denomination, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, North Sea oil, Red Clydeside, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, Torches of Freedom, traveling salesman, union organizing, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Winter of Discontent
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