Americas

SEIU union leader convicted on federal charges

By Allison Smith and Marc Wells, 19 February 2013

A federal court convicted the former president of an SEIU affiliate on 14 criminal counts, including embezzlement of thousands of dollars of union funds.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

19 February 2013

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Two more US coal miners killed

By Clement Daly, 19 February 2013

Two more US coal miners were killed last week, bringing the nation’s coal mining fatalities to five this year.

600 children living in Washington, DC homeless shelter

By Naomi Spencer, 14 February 2013

A single homeless shelter in the nation’s capital is crowded with nearly 1,000 residents.

California governor’s budget foreshadows new assaults on health care

By Thomas Gaist, 14 February 2013

Governor Brown’s agenda includes a restructuring of health care programs to shave hundreds of millions of dollars from the budget.

After the bids: New York School bus strike at the crossroads

By Bill Van Auken, 14 February 2013

The New York City school bus strike has reached a critical turning point following the Department of Education’s opening of bids Tuesday for 1,100 school bus routes.

“I see this as an attack on public education.”

New York City workers and students express support for school bus strikers

By Bryan Dyne, 14 February 2013

The strike by 9,000 school bus workers has generated popular support among workers and youth in New York City.

Socialism and the defense of public education in Chicago

By the Socialist Equality Party, 14 February 2013

The SEP calls for the independent mobilization of the entire working class to oppose all school closings.

On eve of State of the Union speech

Obama pushes austerity in the guise of defending the “middle class”

By Patrick Martin, 12 February 2013

Obama is calling for further deficit-reduction measures, including cuts in core social programs.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

12 February 2013

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US Postal Service announces plan to end Saturday mail delivery

By James Brewer, 7 February 2013

The postmaster general announced a $2 billion cost-cutting measure that would end Saturday mail service by August.

Firms make billions as middlemen in government cover-up of Wall Street crimes

By Andre Damon, 7 February 2013

US financial regulators increasingly rely on “independent investigators” who, in the guise of helping regulators find wrongdoing, help financial firms cover up their fraudulent activities.

Bloomberg presses attack on striking New York City school bus drivers

By Jerry White, 7 February 2013

The strike by nearly 9,000 New York City school bus workers entered its fourth week today with the Bloomberg administration preparing to accept bids from private school bus contractors without long-standing job and wage protections.

Democrats join bid to strangle New York City bus drivers strike

By Bill Van Auken, 7 February 2013

Pretending to support both striking bus workers and parents, New York City’s Democratic politicians have joined the union in calling for a “cooling-off period” and negotiations on cost-cutting givebacks.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

5 February 2013

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Workers Struggles: The Americas

29 January 2013

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Workers Struggles: The Americas

22 January 2013

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400,000 still homeless three years after Haitian earthquake

By John Marion, 15 January 2013

Three years after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, hundreds of thousands of people continue to suffer from its effects.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

8 January 2013

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Workers Struggles: The Americas

3 January 2013

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Workers Struggles: The Americas

27 December 2012

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School shooting in Connecticut leaves 27 dead, including 20 children

By Kate Randall, 15 December 2012

The massacre is the worst in the US since the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech University, which left 33 dead. Less than five months ago a shooting rampage at a theater in Aurora, Colorado resulted in 12 deaths and 58 people wounded.

Rice abandons bid for secretary of state nomination

By Bill Van Auken, 15 December 2012

Dropping the bid to name Susan Rice as secretary of state reflects the administration’s desire to avoid both a protracted debate on Benghazi and a partisan fight with the Republicans.

US military trial to censor testimony on CIA torture

By Naomi Spencer, 15 December 2012

While evidence obtained through torture may be introduced into the courtroom, no evidence of the torture itself is to be permitted.

Detroit area auto workers speak on passage of Michigan right-to-work law

By a WSWS reporting team, 15 December 2012

Reporting teams interviewed workers at two auto plants on the significance of the reactionary legislation passing in Michigan.

Syria in the crosshairs

By Joseph Kishore, 15 December 2012

The US and its imperialist allies are building up to a direct intervention in Syria, with the deployment of Patriot missile batteries in Turkey and the official recognition of the opposition.

Obama, CEOs join forces in budget-cutting campaign

By Patrick Martin, 14 December 2012

Obama and a large group of top corporate executives are supporting a combination of minor tax increases on the wealthy and enormous spending cuts in social programs like Medicare and Social Security.

US Federal Reserve expands “quantitative easing”

By Andre Damon, 14 December 2012

The Federal Reserve announced a significant expansion of its bond-buying program and low-interest-rate policy, in a move to prop up the assets of the super-rich.

Uninsured in Detroit speak on health care crisis

“It is like they are trying to find a way to kill us off”

By a WSWS reporting team, 14 December 2012

A WSWS reporting team recently spoke to medically uninsured Detroit residents participating in a free health screening.

Washington, DC charter school wins Race to the Top grant

By Nick Barrickman, 14 December 2012

The US Department of Education announced that the Knowledge Is Power Program has been declared the winner of a grant from the Obama administration.

Above the law

By Barry Grey, 14 December 2012

The financial robber barons of today are a law unto themselves.

Michigan’s right-to-work law

By Jerry White, 13 December 2012

The inability of the United Auto Workers and other unions to mount any serious opposition to the anti-worker legislation demonstrates the bankruptcy of these organizations.

Sweetheart settlement for HSBC bank on drug money laundering charges

By Barry Grey, 13 December 2012

The financial mafia that bestrides the American economy and controls the political system is, in practice, above the law.

Oregon students face massive debt

By Lauren Hughes, 13 December 2012

Oregon, student, student debt, Stafford loan

Massachusetts governor outlines new round of budget cuts

By John Marion, 13 December 2012

The Democratic governor of Massachusetts, a close friend of the president’s, is calling for major cuts in social programs to close a state budget gap.

Illinois grad assistants union pushes through concessions contract

By Marcus Day, 13 December 2012

The new contract is part of an overall attack on public education throughout the state of Illinois and across the country.

Michigan enacts right-to-work law

By Andre Damon and Jerry White, 12 December 2012

The inability of the UAW and other unions to mount any serious opposition to the anti-worker law reflects the political bankruptcy of these organizations and the erosion of support among workers for them.

Michigan protesters denounce right-to-work law

By a WSWS reporting team, 12 December 2012

Several thousand workers marched on the state capitol building in Lansing, Michigan Tuesday to protest the right-to-work law signed by Republican Governor Rick Snyder.

Hearing on Bradley Manning’s pre-trial confinement concludes

By Naomi Spencer, 12 December 2012

Manning was arrested May 26, 2010, accused of the largest leak of classified military and government documents in history while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.

Stockton, California: Bankruptcy judge poised to rule against workers

By Kevin Kearney, 12 December 2012

Bond insurers have filed a petition to force the city of Stockton to abrogate its pension obligations before filing for bankruptcy.

Conviction of Quebec student strike leader sets stage for broader attack on students’ rights

By Keith Jones, 12 December 2012

Workers and all those concerned with the defence of democratic rights should condemn the contempt-of-court conviction of Quebec student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

Washington discovers terrorists in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 12 December 2012

In branding one of the principal anti-Assad militias as a terrorist organization, Washington is exposing the character of the US-backed war in Syria.

Doha climate summit concludes without agreement on emission reductions

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 December 2012

The failure of the conference was anticipated by everyone involved and met with widespread indifference on the part of the international media.

UAW provides Obama a platform for his austerity assault on workers

By Jerry White, 11 December 2012

President Obama gave a speech at a suburban Detroit auto factory Monday afternoon, enlisting the support of the United Auto Workers union for his attack on basic social programs.

The extortionate operations of NML Capital

By Ernst Wolff, 11 December 2012

A New York court ordered Argentina to settle debts totalling $1.33 billion with hedge fund NML Capital by December 15.

Obama inauguration to allow unlimited corporate donations

By Andre Damon, 11 December 2012

In a reversal of its 2009 policy, the Obama administration announced Friday that it will put no limits on corporate donations to finance its second inauguration.

Patriot Coal to end mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia

By Clement Daly, 11 December 2012

Patriot Coal has announced it will phase out its mountaintop removal coal mining operations as part of a $440 million settlement with environmental groups.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

11 December 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

The “fiscal cliff” and the dismantling of Medicare

By Kate Randall, 10 December 2012

The introduction of means testing signifies the transformation of Medicare from a universal health care program into a poverty program, the first step in its being starved of funds and ultimately dismantled.

New York City police arrest artist who created drone satires

By Sandy English, 10 December 2012

Last week, The New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested Essam Attia, an artist who had designed and surreptitiously placed satirical posters dealing with the NYPD’s potential use of pilotless drone aircraft.

Peabody closes Illinois mine after miner’s death, laying off 400

By Clement Daly, 10 December 2012

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy has announced it will permanently close its Willow Lake Mine in southern Illinois, laying off 400 miners after a miner was crushed to death last month.

For an independent political struggle by the working class

No to Michigan’s ‘right-to-work’ legislation

By Socialist Equality Party, 10 December 2012

The Michigan right-to-work bill is a fundamental attack on the right of the working class to resist attacks on jobs, wages and living conditions

Mounting evidence of US plans for military intervention against Syria

By Chris Marsden, 8 December 2012

Unsubstantiated claims that Syria intends to use chemical weapons are as transparent a pretext for military aggression as the lies a decade ago about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction.”

Tepid US jobs report points to ongoing slump

By Andre Damon, 8 December 2012

The US unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent in October, but only because 350,000 people left the labor force.

Cleveland, Ohio police killing sparks outrage

By David Brown, 8 December 2012

A public forum in Cleveland Thursday night exploded in anger over the police killing of two people last week.

Washington DC parents and teachers express outrage over schools plan

By Ed Hightower and Nick Barrickman, 8 December 2012

At a public meeting held by school authorities, parents and teachers spoke out against the consolidation of the district and the shutting down of 20 schools.

Letters on the British royal pregnancy

8 December 2012

Letters in response to the December 7 perspective, “The American establishment and the British royal pregnancy.”

US tightens military noose around Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 7 December 2012

Amid an escalating drumbeat about a supposed threat that Syria is preparing to use chemical weapons, Washington has deployed a naval armada off the country’s coast.

Michigan woman killed in blaze near closed fire station

By David Brown and Andre Damon, 7 December 2012

A 73-year old Alabama woman visiting relatives in Taylor, Michigan burned to death in a mobile home Thursday morning in a fire rescuers believe could have been ignited by a space heater.

Michigan legislators pass right-to-work bill as police attack protesters

By Shannon Jones, 7 December 2012

The WSWS and SEP condemn the police attack on workers protesting Michigan’s right-to-work legislation.

Behind the growth of D.C. charter schools

By Trent Novak and Nick Barrickman, 7 December 2012

An examination of the personnel behind the charterization of the Washington, D.C. school system reveals private profit as the motive.

The American establishment and the British royal pregnancy

By David Walsh, 7 December 2012

The announcement that Kate Middleton, wife of Britain’s Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting a baby has produced unseemly squeals of delight from the American media and establishment generally.

Locked out American Crystal Sugar workers reject contract again

By Michael Stapleton, 7 December 2012

Sixteen months into a lockout, workers at American Crystal Sugar Company rejected the company’s contract demands for the fourth time.

Citigroup to cut 11,000 jobs

By James Brewer, 6 December 2012

Citigroup’s announcement of global layoffs, the first step in the restructuring plan of its new CEO, was met with enthusiasm by investors.

Who are Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles?

By Andre Damon, 6 December 2012

The co-chairs of Obama administration’s deficit reduction committee are millionaires committed to make the working class pay for the crisis of the capitalist system.

ISO leader endorses Chicago school closings

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 December 2012

Anyone who may still harbor illusions that the International Socialist Organization has anything to do with socialism should take a look at the video of ISO leader Jesse Sharkey’s appearance on Chicago Tonight.

Large turnout at meeting on attacks on public schools in Michigan

By Walter Gilberti, 6 December 2012

A meeting on state legislation aimed at further expanding charter and online education schemes drew a large crowd in Rochester, Michigan Monday.

Congressman Jack Brooks, Rex ’84 and the Iran-Contra affair

By Patrick Martin, 6 December 2012

Former congressman Jack Brooks, a liberal Democrat who represented an east Texas district for 42 years, died Tuesday at the age of 89.

ILWU ends Los Angeles port strike

By our reporter, 6 December 2012

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union on Tuesday ended the eight-day strike by clerical workers, which had shut down the major US ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.

Public tussle over US deficit plans masks bipartisan agenda

By Barry Grey, 5 December 2012

The profound and reactionary implications of the changes being negotiated are concealed behind a stage-managed show of partisan warfare.

Hurricane Sandy compounds crisis facing public schools in New York City

By Steve Light, 5 December 2012

When New York City schools re-opened for their 1.1 million students and 100,000 staff a week after Hurricane Sandy hit, 57 of 1,700 school buildings in New York City remained closed due to damage and 29 due to lack of electricity.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 5 December 2012

Jobless parents jailed for manner of transporting their children, Michigan mother harassed for deceased son’s student loans, more homeless risk hypothermia, study released on homeless students and an Ohio state road falls into sinkhole.

Obama administration to allow further US media consolidation

By David Maynard, 5 December 2012

The Obama administration is quietly planning to pass changes proposed under Bush and permit even greater media consolidation.

Washington floats chemical weapons charge as pretext for Syria buildup

By Bill Van Auken, 4 December 2012

The Obama administration and the media have cited unspecified “intelligence” about chemical weapons to issue new threats against Syria.

The historical significance of the gathering world slump

By Nick Beams, 4 December 2012

The OECD has warned that a major economic contraction cannot be ruled out.

More data pointing to slowdown in US economy

By Barry Grey, 4 December 2012

A fall in US manufacturing coincides with slumping consumer spending.

New study details growth of income inequality across US

By Clement Daly, 4 December 2012

Income gaps between the richest and poorest US households have widened significantly since the late 1970s and continue to grow at a dizzying pace.

NHL union lays the basis for massive concessions for hockey players

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 December 2012

The hockey players’ union has agreed in principle to massive reductions in salary and changes in contract structure, with negotiations continuing over their implementation.

Los Angeles area port workers’ strike continues

By Thomas Gaist, 4 December 2012

The 800 clerical workers on strike have shut down 10 of 14 terminals of the country’s most heavily trafficked port complex. Several thousand dockworkers in Los Angeles and Long Beach have refused to cross picket lines.

University of Illinois graduate assistants:

Reject the sellout contract! Fight to defend the right to higher education and decent living standards!

By Socialist Equality Party, 4 December 2012

The SEP calls on graduate assistants to reject the concessions agreement the Graduate Employees Organization has reached with the University of Illinois administration.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

4 December 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

In “fiscal cliff” talks, Democrats offer cuts now, cuts later

By Patrick Martin, 3 December 2012

Leading Democrats have agreed to discuss cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, the biggest federal social programs, as part of ongoing budget talks with congressional Republicans.

The death of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif

By Tom Carter, 3 December 2012

The failure of the US legal system to enforce the most basic rights of Latif, who died in September at the Guantanamo prison camp, underscores the collapse of democratic legal institutions and the expanding machinery of a police state.

Doha conference highlights national divisions over climate change

By Bryan Dyne, 3 December 2012

The Doha 2012 climate conference, which began November 26 and will run through December 7, has been characterized by national divisions and no serious proposals to address climate change.

Thousands protest as new Mexican president takes office

By Rafael Azul, 3 December 2012

Across Mexico, workers and youth greeted the transfer of power to President Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI with protests.

US birth rate falls to lowest since 1920

By Kate Randall, 3 December 2012

Among wide layers of the US population, increasing numbers are putting off parenthood due to poverty, job loss and other economic stresses.

The “rule of law” and state killings

By Bill Van Auken and David North, 3 December 2012

The leading newspaper of American liberalism proposes to sanction a criminal policy of state assassinations by establishing a set of administrative procedures.

The PQ budget and the 2012 Quebec student strike

By International Youth Students for Social Equality (Canada), 3 December 2012

Continuing the nationalist-protest perspective that resulted in the Quebec student strike being suppressed, the organizers of the Nov. 22nd protest made no mention of the newly introduced PQ austerity budget.

Grain haulers’ lockout of Northwest longshoremen postponed

By Hector Cordon, 3 December 2012

Northwest grain terminal operators accede to union’s request to postpone contract deadline.

November sales slump in US reflects worsening social crisis

By Andre Damon, 1 December 2012

Exuberant reports of record-breaking crowds storming the stores and buoyant sales volumes are belied by the dismal results reported Thursday.

Bipartisan group in US Congress promotes drone killings

By Patrick Martin, 1 December 2012

Drone strikes ordered by President Obama have killed more than 2,500 people over the past four years, according to a New York Times report.

Bradley Manning speaks on abuse

By Naomi Spencer, 1 December 2012

Accused whistleblower Bradley Manning told the military court of sleep deprivation, isolation, and torment by guards.

US bankruptcy judge approves $1.75 million in bonuses for Hostess executives

By David Walsh, 1 December 2012

Nineteen Hostess Brands executives, if they meet certain criteria while liquidating the company, will receive bonuses averaging $92,000. Some 18,500 workers are set to lose their jobs.

One month since Hurricane Sandy

By Philip Guelpa and Fred Mazelis, 1 December 2012

The reality of families left to their own devices by a political and economic system that is utterly indifferent to the plight of working people emerges more clearly with each passing day.

Los Angeles and Long Beach port clerical workers on strike

By Thomas Gaist, 1 December 2012

Office workers at the southern California ports went out on a strike action this week, shutting down large portions of Los Angeles’ heavily trafficked seaports.

Workers protest low wages at New York City fast-food restaurants

By Sandy English, 1 December 2012

Hundreds of fast-food workers and their supporters protested against low wages and lack of benefits at McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants in New York City.

After the elections: Obama escalates war drive in the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 30 November 2012

The Obama administration is escalating its intervention in Syria as part of a broader strategy of neocolonial conquest.

“The eight-hour day is a thing of the past”

UAW sanctions “alternative” work schedule at Chrysler

By Jerry White, 30 November 2012

In an effort to pump ever-greater productivity and profits out of auto workers, Chrysler is implementing a so-called Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) at its stamping, assembly and parts plants throughout the country.

Detroit bankruptcy threats escalate as bonds are downgraded

By Shannon Jones, 30 November 2012

A major credit rating agency further downgraded Detroit’s debt as city officials advance new proposals for cuts.

Bradley Manning testifies on his detention

By Naomi Spencer, 30 November 2012

Bradley Manning took the stand to speak on his pre-trial detention Thursday. It was the first public statement from the accused whistleblower in over two years.