A Memorial Day Massacre

It’s a dramatic, shocking and violent film. Some 200 uniformed policemen armed with billy clubs, revolvers and tear gas angrily charge an unarmed crowd of several hundred striking steelworkers and their wives and children who are desperately running away. The police club those they can reach, shoving them to the ground and ignoring their pleas […]

The Best Baseball Season Ever

Like every other fan of the National Pastime, I’ve looked forward with great anticipation to the new baseball season. But I know it won’t possibly match my favorite season of all time. It was 1950 — the year that I, a 17-year-old shortstop not yet out of high school in San Francisco, took the first […]

Let’s Honor a True American Hero

I hope we can all pause and reflect on the extraordinary life of a true American hero on Tuesday (March 31). It’s Cesar Chavez Day, proclaimed by President Obama and observed throughout the country on the 88th birth date of the late founder of the United Farm Workers union. It’s an official state holiday in […]

Ridding Baseball of its Deadly Habit

Finally, serious steps are being taken to curtail baseball’s deadly chewing tobacco habit — proposed legislation that would ban its use throughout California beginning next year. The great need for a ban should be obvious. Chewing tobacco is highly addictive, slovenly, disgusting, repulsive. It causes cancer that can eat away at your throat, mouth, lips, […]

Celebrating The Fourth With The Enemy

The Fourth of July, as we all know, is Independence Day. Hurray for George Washington and the revolutionaries, down with King George and the British. That sort of thing. But have you ever wondered what it’s like on the other side? Have you ever celebrated the Fourth across the border in Canada, in that territory […]

Boonville Baseball, 1950

However the new baseball season turns out, it won’t possibly match my favorite season of all time. That’s the season of 1950, the year that I, a 17-year-old shortstop not yet out of high school in San Francisco, took the first step toward what I was certain would be major league stardom. You had to […]

Labor’s Day — And Yours

Labor Day. Time again for politicians and union adherents to praise organized labor. Time again for others to pontificate about the supposed decline and growing irrelevance of unions as they continue to lose members and continue to argue among themselves over the future direction of the labor movement. Time again for most other people to […]

The Pioneering Black Porters

It’s Black History Month, a good time to honor the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, one of the most important yet too often overlooked leaders in the long struggle for racial equality and union rights. The union, the first to be founded by African Americans, was involved deeply in political as well as economic activity, […]

Home Care Workers Need Presidential Help

The country’s 2-million-plus home care workers have been waiting a whole year now for President Obama to make good on his promise to grant them the federal minimum wage and overtime pay protections they so badly need. The need for immediate presidential action was made abundantly clear in a letter to the White House on […]

We All Need A Higher Minimum Wage

Election’s over, the good guy won, so what now for working people? Labor’s wish list for our re-elected president and the new Congress is long, but certainly the most basic item is raising the pay of our poorest workers by raising the minimum wage. About four million workers have been living in poverty or near-poverty […]

Let’s Count Our Blessings On Labor Day

OK, it’s time to celebrate Labor Day, time to celebrate the labor movement that won a wide range of benefits for working people. That includes, of course, a paid day off on Labor Day and other holidays or extra pay for working on the holidays. But there’s much more than that. Much more. We can […]

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