07 September 2009

Labor Day

Detroit Industry (detail) by Diego Rivera, 1933.

This is a detail from a massive mural at the Detroit Institute for the Arts. While Rivera affords an heroic vision of American labor, it would be a mistake to neglect the current travails of American workers. Harold Meyerson lays out some of the problems in his strong lament for labor at The Washington Post. And this story at In These Times and this one at The Nation make a set of points that overlap with Meyerson. The problems, of course, reflect the current depression; but they also reflect the fact that successive administrations in Washington - and the courts and agencies spread across the country - have failed to enforce basic aspects of labor law. In other words, the problem is political.

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Blogger Make Better Media said...

To that end, the problem is also that workers and unions rely too much on the enforcement of labor law, instead of building power through organizing. Culturally many workers readily identify with the bosses while notions of collective action are completely foreign.

07 September, 2009 20:07  
Blogger Mark Curran said...

Important post...thanks for this and the links...as the role of labour remains consistently read only a surface level at this time of crisis in mainstream media...

08 September, 2009 02:39  

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