It’s Time for $15 and a Union

It’s been less than a decade since a few hundred fast-food employees walked off the job to demand a $15 wage and a union. Now, they’re a global movement that’s fundamentally changed the conversation on the rights of low-wage workers.

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Global News and Analysis

Algeria in Revolt: “We woke up and you will pay!”

Source: Roar Magazine

What is happening in Algeria is truly historic. The people won the first battle in their struggle to radically overhaul the system. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, president for the past twenty years, was forced to abdicate after more than six weeks of street protests and a re-configuration of alliances within the ruling classes.

Since Friday, February 22, millions of people, young and old, men and women from different social classes have taken to the streets in a momentous uprising, re-appropriating long-confiscated public space. Historic Friday marches followed by protests in several sectors (education, health, petrochemical industry, students, etc) united people in their rejection of the ruling system and their demands of radical democratic change. read more

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Global News and Analysis

George Monbiot: Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse

Source: The Guardian

No one is coming to save us. Mass civil disobedience is essential to force a political response

Had we put as much effort into preventing environmental catastrophe as we’ve spent on making excuses for inaction, we would have solved it by now. Everywhere I look, I see people engaged in furious attempts to fend off the moral challenge it presents.

The commonest current excuse is this: “I bet those protesters have phones/go on holiday/wear leather shoes.” In other words, we won’t listen to anyone who is not living naked in a barrel, subsisting only on murky water. Of course, if you are living naked in a barrel we will dismiss you too, because you’re a hippie weirdo. Every messenger, and every message they bear, is disqualified on the grounds of either impurity or purity. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Mexican Labor Organizing Reawakens

Source: Dissent Magazine

“The movement was the catalyst that we needed,” Juan Luis Gaytán said, standing outside the Arca Continental plant in Matamoros, a city in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Gaytán works at Arca Continental, the Coca Cola production and distribution plant for the region. That morning, the workers at the plant were on strike, among the thousands of workers who have gone on strike in Matamoros since the start of 2019.

The workers at Arca Continental are also among the last who remain on strike in Matamoros, where a wave of labor militancy was kicked off by the newly elected president Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s December announcement that the minimum wage at the factories along the U.S.-Mexico border—known as maquiladoras, or maquilas for short—would rise from 88 pesos to 176 pesos, or $9 a day. Since maquila wages are pegged to the minimum, workers saw the president’s announcement—one of his first acts in office—as an opening to push for higher pay. Between January 9 and 24, workers in dozens of factories in Matamoros organized work stoppages. The wave of strikes became known as the 20/32 movement, after the workers’ demands: a twenty percent salary increase and a one-time bonus of 32,000 pesos, roughly $1,700. read more