When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established in 1970, Congress made it a misdemeanor to cause the death of a worker by violating safety laws. Today, according to an AFL—CIO report, the average fine for a serious violation of workers’ health and safety is $709. A “serious violation” is one where there is a substantial probability of death or severe physical injury. Federal and state governments are also leading players.
Biography: Milt SeifBorn in New York City in 1910, Milt Seif came to Baltimore in 1941 at the urging of “Uncle Izzy” who told Milt that “the shipyards were hiring bodies.” After several years at Bethlehem Steel’s Key Highway Shipyard, Milt was elected to office in Industrial Union of Marine and Shipyard Workers (IUMSWA) Local 24 as business agent for the local (“the youngest in the history of the Union”).Called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1952, Milt was fired from his
Fred Daniels is the author name of a long-time observer of class issues. I work in a medium size nursing home in West Baltimore with about 200 workers. Most workers here would best be described as part of the service-sector workforce, that is, unskilled poorly paid workers with few protections and frequently changing jobs. The place is unionized, which give workers some security. But the union is weak: only a handful of workers get involved in union affairs. Competition among workers ebbs and flows but is constant.
During the industrial revolution in the United States, labor organizations such as the National Trades' Union, National Labor Union and Knights of Labor endorsed the development of democratic worker-controlled enterprise as a strategy for fighting “wage slavery” and developing a democratic economy.
Over the last four years or so, baseball fans in Baltimore may have noticed some unexpected activities taking place outside the stadium before game time. The demonstrations, street theatre, and leafletting are part of the United Workers’ campaign to get a living wage for stadium cleaners and bring an end to public sector poverty. What fans and the public don’t see is the darker side of baseball in Baltimore. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the jewel of Baltimore’s downtown landscape.
This article is an abridged version of Chapter 1 of the Baltimore Book(1991, Temple University Press) In the summer of 1877, crowds gathered at Camden Yards to challenge the power of the nineteenth century railroads. Here began a protest that signaled the start of one of the most significant strikes in US history, an event that was to bring Baltimore and the country as close as they have ever come to a breakdown of the social order.
If nothing else, the White House policy on immigration has been carefully crafted. The Republican presidential campaign cabal, led by Karl Rove, has made it clear that it will be satisfied with nothing less than total domination of national politics. One way it may be able to achieve this is through courting the rapidly growing Hispanic electorate and by appearing to sympathize with those trying to immigrate to the US. Its hope is to cancel the effect of the tradition of voting for Democrats widely followed among African Americans.
Probably the most public discussion of work in the United States right now takes place in the context of debate over legal and illegal immigration. Congress is currently considering “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation, instigated in large part by President Bush.