The Labor Question Today

"Occasional Musings on Work, the Politics of Work, and the Work of Social Justice," By Dan Graff, Director of the Higgins Labor Program.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Apr. 13, 2017 -- Desperate days demand dogged determination. As Colson Whitehead’s prize-winning The Underground Railroad suggests, Americans committed to forging a just economy founded on equality, freedom, and inclusion should follow in the footsteps of our forebears and find our own North Star.

 

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Mar. 16, 2017 -- Over 150 years ago Abraham Lincoln warned northerners that southern slaveowners and their advocates hoped to do more than expand slavery westward -- they would settle for nothing less than making "the peculiar institution" no longer peculiar by legalizing it throughout the whole country. Thankfully, chattel slavery was vanquished in the Civil War, but today we find ourselves awakening again to the reality of our country being “southernized” to the detriment of the American ideals of freedom and equality.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM
Feb. 26, 2017 -- The audience reception to the new Hollywood film Hidden Figures shows that significant numbers of us remain committed to realizing the American aspirations of equality, fairness, inclusion, and opportunity for all at the workplace. At the dawn of the Trump era, when those values are under attack, that makes this feelgood flick feel not only good but necessary.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Feb. 13, 2017 -- Any pro-worker political project must take into account the diversity of the US working class; otherwise, it will end up promoting an identity politics rooted in race but masquerading as class.

 

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Oct. 30, 2016 -- The Honeywell lockout of UAW Local 9 is the latest lesson in the inherent weakness of US labor laws and government agencies to protect workers, the growing willingness of corporations to abandon the spirit of sharing and compromise that produced decades of community well-being, and our country's collective amnesia when it comes to the link between the labor movement and the widespread prosperity Americans now see slipping away.

BY DAN GRAFF, DIRECTOR, HIGGINS LABOR PROGRAM

Today the American worker confronts uncertainty, insecurity, confusion, and even chaos, an unwelcome environment that can only be described as an economic crisis. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. In other words, working people face a chronic crisis forty-plus years in the making, one that shows no signs of ending soon.