Americas

Bipartisan Senate deficit deal to cut Medicare, slash taxes for the wealthy

By Bryan Dyne and Barry Grey, 12 October 2012

The discussions by the so-called “Gang of Eight” senators underscore the undemocratic character of the elections.

Federal home heating cuts spell hardship for US families this winter

By Shannon Jones, 12 October 2012

The return of seasonably cold weather this winter means higher home heating costs at a time when assistance programs are being cut.

The diversionary debate over the Benghazi attack

By Bill Van Auken, 12 October 2012

Last month’s fatal attack on the US consulate in Benghazi has emerged as an issue in the US elections, with both parties avoiding the essential political questions raised by the incident.

In preparation for wider war, Pentagon deploys task force in Jordan

By Bill Van Auken, 11 October 2012

In preparation for a wider war in the Middle East, the Pentagon has deployed a 150-strong task force in Jordan.

The class issues in the 2012 US elections

By Jerry White, 11 October 2012

With less than four weeks to the US elections, the Democratic Party is hoping to recover from the impact of President Obama’s dismal performance last week in the first debate.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 11 October 2012

This week: the psychological impact of solitary confinement on young prisoners, the swelling homeless population in New York, the epidemic of suicides among American Indian youth

Boeing professional workers overwhelmingly reject proposed contract

By Angelo Bosworth, 11 October 2012

Boeing engineers and technicians vote overwhelmingly against the company’s proposals.

Wall Street vs. workers—the class gap widens

By Jerry White and SEP candidate for president, 11 October 2012

Wall Street pay and profits have hit record levels since the 2008 crash.

US, Israel plan joint strikes on Iran

By Jean Shaoul, 10 October 2012

The US and Israel are planning joint strikes against Iran, according to reports in the Israeli media and Foreign Policy magazine.

US student loan lawsuits increase

By Bryan Dyne, 10 October 2012

The federal government is expanding its lawsuit campaign to recover the $76 billion of the $1 trillion of student debt that is in default.

Campbell’s Soup to close California plant

By Karl Eisner, 10 October 2012

Campbell’s Soup will close its Sacramento plant by July 2013, laying off 700 workers.

Socialist Equality Party gains ballot status in Louisiana

By Tom Hall, 10 October 2012

The Socialist Equality Party successfully completed its bid for ballot status in the state of Louisiana.

In bellicose speech, Romney outlines bipartisan drive to war

By Joseph Kishore, 9 October 2012

Romney outlined an aggressive expansion of US militarism in the Middle East and Asia.

Deadly meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroids

By Kate Randall, 9 October 2012

Eight people have died from a fungal form of meningitis linked to contaminated steroids produced by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.

Chicago teachers docked pay, CTU still collects dues

By Kristina Betinis, 9 October 2012

Since the Chicago Teachers Union ended their 10-day strike, teachers have been issued short paychecks or no pay at all, but the union has still deducted dues.

Illinois leads US in home foreclosures

By Marcus Day, 9 October 2012

Foreclosure activity in Illinois shot up 42 percent from one year ago, giving the state the highest foreclosure rate in the US.

New report details huge rise in poverty in Detroit suburbs

By Shannon Jones, 9 October 2012

As the poverty rate has risen in Michigan overall, its suburban areas have seen a deepening of poverty.

The New York Times promotes the Syrian contras

By Alex Lantier, 9 October 2012

On October 5 journalist C. J. Chivers published a long article in the New York Times, sympathetically recording the views of the US-backed Syrian opposition .

Turkish, Syrian armies clash along border

By David Brown, 8 October 2012

Yesterday marked the fifth day of artillery clashes along the Syrian-Turkish border, amid rising fears of a war that would spread across the Middle East.

The US elections and the unemployed

By Patrick Martin, 8 October 2012

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have the slightest concern for the plight of 23 million workers who are either unemployed or underemployed.

Revealing study of “revolving door” between US government and big business

By Nick Barrickman, 8 October 2012

A recent study by Swiss economists takes a detailed look at the intimate relations between the US government and big business.

Poverty up, income down in San Diego

By Richard Vargas and Toby Reese, 8 October 2012

A new report reveals increasing poverty and decreasing income in California’s second largest city.

Phyllis Scherrer caps tour with meetings in Chicago and Milwaukee

By our reporters, 8 October 2012

Over the past week, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer has spoken at meetings in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and Wisconsin.

US SEP presidential candidate Jerry White to speak in Toronto

By our reporter, 8 October 2012

Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, will be the featured speaker at a public meeting in Toronto next Sunday, Oct. 14.

Mass protest against threatened Turkey-Syria war

By Chris Marsden, 6 October 2012

Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters gathered in Istanbul, Thursday evening, opposing military action against Syria.

Obama seizes on flukish jobs report to defend right-wing policies

By Barry Grey, 6 October 2012

The sharp drop in the official jobless rate, coming in the midst of generally negative data on manufacturing, trade and economic growth, confounded economists, who had predicted the rate would climb to 8.2 percent.

Hearings for victimized Detroit sewerage strikers

By Andre Damon, 6 October 2012

The 34 workers who were victimized in the aftermath of the five-day strike at Detroit’s wastewater treatment plant were made to sign agreements to return to work after receiving five-day suspensions and extended probation periods.

New York Public Library backs off 42nd Street reconstruction plans

By Sandy English, 6 October 2012

After vehement opposition, the New York Public Library has altered plans that would have changed the character of the main research library in mid-Manhattan.

Well-attended SEP election meeting at Oberlin College

By our reporters, 6 October 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White spoke to a lively and well attended meeting at Oberlin College on Thursday.

UAW pushes through contract ratification at Chrysler Dundee, Michigan Engine Plant

By Shannon Jones, 6 October 2012

The United Auto Workers reports that members of Local 723 at the Chrysler Dundee, Michigan Engine Plant have ratified the same local contract agreement they rejected in August.

Union capitulation deals blow to Detroit sewerage workers

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 5 October 2012

On Thursday evening, AFSCME Local 207 formally called off the five-day strike of sewerage workers at the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant, having engineered a collapse of the walkout without any gains for the workers.

Ratification of Chicago teachers contract sets stage for assault on public education

By Joseph Kishore, 5 October 2012

The contract, backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union, sets the stage for an expanded assault on teachers and public education.

Poverty rises dramatically in Michigan

By Debra Watson, 5 October 2012

Poverty in Michigan increased a staggering 66 percent since 2001, the largest such increase of any state in the country.

Obama and the debate

By Patrick Martin, 5 October 2012

The American media is overflowing with commentary on the poor performance of Barack Obama in Wednesday’s presidential debate.

Jerry White talks to firefighters about Detroit water workers struggle

By our correspondent, 5 October 2012

SEP presidential candidate White talked about the significance of the strike at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, and the need to broaden the struggle throughout the working class.

Declining US doctor visits: A product of social decay and the assault on health care

By Joseph Kishore, 4 October 2012

The decline in doctor visits is a product not simply of abstract economic forces, but a deliberate policy carried out by the corporations and both big business parties aimed at reducing health care for the vast majority of Americans.

Obama and Romney: A “debate” without real differences

By Patrick Martin, 4 October 2012

The debate demonstrated the vast gulf between the two-party system and the needs and concerns of working people.

NHL lockout of players continues

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 October 2012

The continued NHL lockout threatens regular season games as owners demand massive salary concessions and contract modifications.

AFSCME regional, local leaders betray Detroit water workers strike

By Jerry White, 4 October 2012

The leadership of AFSCME Local 207 has brought the strike of hundreds of Detroit Water and Sewerage Workers to an ignominious dead end.

Pennsylvania judge postpones enforcement of anti-democratic voter ID law

By Samuel Davidson, 4 October 2012

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday ordered a postponement of sections of the state’s new voter ID law, which would have blocked tens of thousands of registered voters from casting ballots in the November elections.

Democratic rights under threat as US Supreme Court opens new term

By Tom Carter, 4 October 2012

In a significant number of cases expected to come before the US Supreme Court this term, democratic rights are in jeopardy.

Minnesota Orchestra musicians locked out

By Ron Jorgenson, 4 October 2012

Minnesota Orchestra management locked out its 81 musicians Sunday after they unanimously voted down 30 to 50 percent pay cuts.

Chicago: Evergreen Park teachers strike

By Shane Feratu, 4 October 2012

Classes were canceled Tuesday after negotiations between the union and Evergreen Park school board fell through on Monday night.

Los Angeles free clinic clients, volunteers discuss crisis of US health care

By our reporters, 4 October 2012

September 30 was the final day of Care Harbor’s annual free clinic at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

Amid mass protests, Mexican deputies approve labor counter-reform

By Rafael Azul, 3 October 2012

The Mexican Chamber of Deputies approved a labor reform law that attacks living standards and working conditions for the working class.

Democrats, Republicans plot post-election assault on Medicare, Social Security

By Kate Randall, 3 October 2012

Discussions are underway in the US Senate to forge a deal on sweeping cuts to social programs in the aftermath of the November 6 election.

City threatens to fire striking Detroit sewerage workers

By Jerry White, 3 October 2012

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has sent notices to 34 workers informing them that they have been suspended without pay and face termination for walking off the job Sunday morning.

New York City transit workers without a contract for over eight months

By Alan Whyte, 3 October 2012

Anger is growing among New York City’s 35,000 bus and subway workers, who have been working without a contract for eight and a half months.

Transit workers voice anger

By a reporting team, 3 October 2012

A WSWS reporting team interviewed transit workers at the Stilwell train station in Brooklyn, the largest one in the New York City system.

A special message from SEP presidential candidate Jerry White

3 October 2012

In this video, Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party's candidate for president in the 2012 election, reviews the campaign so far and asks for your support.

Scherrer wins support in Pittsburgh

By Samuel Davidson, 3 October 2012

Members of the Socialist Equality Party campaigned in Pittsburgh over the weekend and won a strong response from workers and students as they promoted their upcoming meeting.

A comment on Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit

By Nancy Hanover, 3 October 2012

The recently released documentary Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit is a moving and powerful tribute to the impoverished city’s embattled firefighters.

Firefighters speak with the WSWS at Burn premiere

By Lawrence Porter and Bryan Dyne, 3 October 2012

WSWS reporters spoke to firefighters at the premiere of Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit.

US troop deaths in Afghanistan top 2,000

By Bill Van Auken, 2 October 2012

The 2,000th American soldier died in Afghanistan last weekend as the result of a so-called “insider” attack, underscoring the crisis of the 11-year-old US war.

Striking Detroit water workers defy federal judge, union officials

By Jerry White, 2 October 2012

Workers at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s waste treatment plant are continuing their strike despite a temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge Monday. The walkout, which began on Sunday, involves 950 workers at the facility in the southwest side of Detroit.

World economy slides deeper into slump

By Andre Damon, 2 October 2012

A string of negative reports has revealed a significant deterioration in the global economy, with world trade slowing, manufacturing contracting, and the number of unemployed workers in the euro zone hitting a record high.

France, US step up pressure for military intervention in Mali

By Kumaran Ira, 2 October 2012

France and the United States are urging UN Security Council to approve a West African-manned military intervention in Northern Mali.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

2 October 2012

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

US increases support for Syrian opposition as Aleppo burns

By Niall Green, 1 October 2012

The Obama administration has fully resumed its proxy war against Syria, resulting in new disasters for the people of the country.

Detroit water workers go on strike

By Shannon Jones, 1 October 2012

Some 950 workers at the Detroit Department of Water and Sewerage struck Sunday morning over massive attacks on jobs, pay and benefits.

SEP candidate speaks with striking Detroit city workers

By a reporting team, 1 October 2012

Jerry White, the SEP candidate for US president, spoke with striking workers at the Detroit water and sewerage treatment plant.

ACLU Report: Obama administration expands domestic spying

By Eric London, 1 October 2012

Under the Obama administration, there has been a 60 percent increase in warrantless electronic surveillance by the Department of Justice, according to a report Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union.

One in five US households has student loan debt

By Bryan Dyne, 1 October 2012

The Pew Research Center reports that 19 percent of all US households in 2010 owed student loans, with average outstanding debt loads of nearly $26,700.

Minneapolis workplace shooting leaves six dead

By Kate Randall, 1 October 2012

A workplace shooting last Thursday afternoon in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota claimed six lives, including that of the shooter.

Quebec’s premier venture-capital fund controlled by Quebec Federation of Labour

By Laurent Lafrance, 1 October 2012

A notice the Quebec Federation of Labour recently published in the province’s leading daily extolling its misnamed Solidarity Fund sheds light on the class interests that lay behind the unions' strangling of the Quebec student strike.

Netanyahu’s war ultimatum at the UN

By Barry Grey, 1 October 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s belligerent and provocative speech last Thursday before the United Nations General Assembly underscored that plans for an unprovoked military attack on Iran are far advanced.

SEP candidate Jerry White to participate in online Q&A forum Tuesday

1 October 2012

On Tuesday, October 2, Jerry White will participate in an online forum on the Internet site Reddit, answering questions about his campaign and the program of the SEP.

Vote “no” on the Chicago teachers contract!

For a political offensive of the working class to defend public education

By Socialist Equality Party, 1 October 2012

The SEP calls on teachers to reject the sell-out agreement reached between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools.

US scuttles Syria negotiations, backs anti-Assad forces at UN

By Niall Green, 29 September 2012

Washington has used the UN General Assembly as a venue to plot with its allies refashioning the Middle East in line with US interests.

Report reveals deteriorating social conditions in Wisconsin

By Niles Williamson, 29 September 2012

A recent report released by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison revealed the conditions faced by working people in the state.

Harlan, Kentucky coal miner killed in roof fall

By Naomi Spencer, 29 September 2012

A roof collapse in a Tennessee mine early Wednesday claimed the life of a Harlan, Kentucky, miner.

Jerry White speaks to workers and students in Virginia

By our correspondents, 29 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White addressed a meeting at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Thursday.

14,000-strong New England janitors union authorizes strike action

By John Marion, 29 September 2012

Members of SEIU Local 615, representing 14,000 janitors in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, have authorized a strike if cleaning companies do not reach an agreement with the bargaining committee by September 30.

US military brands Assange, WikiLeaks as “the enemy”

By Bill Van Auken, 28 September 2012

Secret US Air Force documents brand WikiLeaks and its editor Julian Assange as “the “enemy,” placing them on a legal par with Al Qaeda.

The terror of US drone warfare

By Ernst Wolff, 28 September 2012

A new study, “Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan,” describes the terrorizing of Pakistan’s civilian population by US drone assaults.

National Football League and referees reach tentative agreement

By Alan Gilman, 28 September 2012

NFL referee lockout caused mass anger over officiating mistakes.

Chicago school nurses speak on shortage: “Our kids deserve better”

By Lawrence Porter, 28 September 2012

Chicago Public Schools nurses describe how the cuts in public education have affected nurse-student ratios, putting the health of students at risk.

SEP presidential campaign comes to Virginia

By our correspondents, 28 September 2012

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality campaigned in northern Virginia for a meeting Thursday with presidential candidate Jerry White.

US elections conceal preparations for war with Iran

By Barry Grey, 27 September 2012

In the midst of a presidential election campaign, the fact that plans for war against Iran are far advanced is being concealed from the American people.

Early voting begins in US elections

By Patrick Martin, 27 September 2012

Well over 30 percent of ballots will be cast before the November 6 election.

Humala government outlaws strikes by Peruvian teachers and doctors

By Armando Cruz, 27 September 2012

A pair of wildcat strikes by teachers and doctors has become the latest episode of class struggle to undermine the government of Peru’s nationalist president, Ollanta Humala.

Poverty grows in Washington DC suburbs

By Nick Barrickman, 27 September 2012

The Washington DC area, including 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the United States, has witnessed a growth of poverty in the wake of the 2008 financial disaster.

Obama uses UN speech to threaten war against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 26 September 2012

President Obama postured before the UN as the champion of peace and democracy, while threatening war against Iran and demanding a crackdown against the wave of anti-US demonstrations that have swept the Middle East.

UAW to hold revote at Chrysler Dundee, Michigan engine plant

By Shannon Jones, 26 September 2012

The UAW will hold a revote on the local contract agreement overwhelmingly voted down last month by workers at Chrysler’s Dundee Engine Plant.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians ratify concessions contract

By James Brewer, 26 September 2012

Chicago Symphony musicians have gone back to work after ratifying a new contract proposal.

In fourth date with death, Texas inmate executed by lethal injection

By Kate Randall, 26 September 2012

Texas death row inmate Cleve Foster was executed Thursday after the US Supreme Court refused to grant him a stay.

Mentally ill double amputee shot to death by Houston police

By Charles Abelard, 26 September 2012

Houston police fatally shot a mentally ill double amputee, a ward of the state of Texas, who was said to be waving a "silver object”—a pen—at a policeman while sitting in his wheelchair at his care facility.

Video: Chicago teachers speak on their strike and the defense of public education

26 September 2012

On September 10, Chicago teachers struck against changes to public education demanded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and backed by the Obama administration. In these interview, Chicago teachers discuss their strike and the broader issues at stake.

Romney’s “47 percent” video and the bipartisan assault on social reform

By Barry Grey, 25 September 2012

In all of their criticisms, the Democrats have carefully avoided the basic issue: Romney’s flat-out assertion that people do not have the right to food, health care and a roof over their heads.

Attack in Libya disrupted major CIA operation

By Bill Van Auken, 25 September 2012

The September 11 attack that claimed the life of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans disrupted a major CIA operation in the North African country.

California governor signs pension “reform” bill

By Julien Kiemle and Marc Wells, 25 September 2012

The legislation signed by Jerry Brown will create a two-tier system for pensions, setting back public sector workers in California by decades.

Study: Recession punishes West Virginia workers

By Clement Daly, 25 September 2012

A new study shows how the recession has exacerbated more than three decades of stagnation and decline faced by workers in the Appalachian state.

Ford Canada workers ratify concessions deal

By Carl Bronski, 25 September 2012

After Ford’s campaign of plant closing and mass layoff threats, in partnership with the Canadian government and the Canadian Auto Workers union, CAW members in Ontario voted to ratify a concessions-laden contract.

SEP presidential candidate speaks to Ford Canada workers

By Shannon Jones, 25 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White travelled to Windsor, Ontario Sunday with a campaign team to speak to Ford Canada workers voting on the concessions-laden contract negotiated by the Canadian Auto Workers. The four-year agreement accepted all of the major take-away demands of the auto companies including an expanded two-tier wage structure, cuts to pension, the elimination of cost of living allowances and a freeze on wages.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

25 September 2012

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

Currency war warnings follow US Fed’s “quantitative easing”

By Nick Beams, 24 September 2012

One of the consequences of the Fed’s actions is to push down the value of the US dollar, thus worsening the competitive position of other major countries.

Chicago Symphony musicians walk out

By Kristina Betinis, 24 September 2012

Chicago Symphony Orchestra players have struck over management’s concessions demands.

Melting ice in the Arctic unleashes race for profits

By Ernst Wolff, 24 September 2012

Arctic sea ice reached its lowest recorded levels on September 16, leading to speculation by international oil conglomerates about a massive expansion of drilling in the region.

Phyllis Scherrer discusses SEP campaign, Chicago strike at California meetings

By our reporters, 24 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer concluded her West Coast tour with a meeting in Huntington Park, in Los Angeles County.

A balance sheet of the Afghanistan war

By Patrick Martin, 24 September 2012

The Obama administration has withdrawn 33,000 troops, but more than twice as many still remain in Afghanistan.