This edition of the free bulletin, World Wide Work, is published by the American Labor Education Center, an independent nonprofit founded in 1979.
WORLD WIDE WORK
Have you taken a look at www.TheWorkSite.org? It's a new web site for activists to share best practices and not have to reinvent the wheel.
A few examples of what's already there in the Tools community?
All the tools can be downloaded and adapted. Material will continually be added to the site, but already it contains lots of practical tools and tips that can't be found elsewhere.
- Tools for training working people to talk to the media.
- Tips based on polling and focus group research for effective ways to talk about issues like immigration, affordable health care, reliable public services, and the freedom to form a union.
- Organizing nuts and bolts like how to have better meetings or more effective one-to-one conversations.
There's also a Resources community on TheWorkSite.org. Just posted there: "The Relatively Charmed Life of Neil Bush."
New and worth noting...
* Allan Houser: An American Master by W. Jackson Rushing III (Harry N. Abrams). Houser, one of the leading American sculptors of the 20th century, is one of two contemporary artists whose work is featured in the opening exhibits of the new National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Houser's parents were Apaches who were imprisoned by the U.S. government for more than 25 years beginning in the late 1800s. The new book combines beautiful photos of Houser's work with fascinating text about his development as an artist. See also www.allanhouser.com
* Monitoring Sweatshops by Jill Esbenshade (Temple University). A former union organizer and anti-sweatshop activist evaluates the various kinds of monitoring groups that have sprung up in recent years.
*Slaves to Fashion: Poverty and Abuse in the New Sweatshops by Robert J.S. Ross (University of Michigan). An in-depth review of the problem at home and abroad, including an original analysis of media coverage that puts the blame in the wrong place.
*Labor's Time: Shorter Hours, the UAW, and the Struggle for American Unionism by Jonathan Cutler (Temple). Cutler argues that Walter Reuther squelched a rank-and-file movement for a 30-hour workweek and in the process fueled the eventual demise of U.S. unions.
*Workplace Justice Without Unions by Hoyt Wheeler, Brian Klaas, and Douglas Mahony (Upjohn). As unions have declined, some nonunion companies have set up dispute resolution procedures that claim to ensure workplace fairness. The authors try to quantify whether nonunion systems provide the same protection as union contracts.
*Horse Thief by Anna Balint (Curbstone). Generally well written stories about poor and working class people facing hard times in London and the American west coast.
*Las Hermanas by Lara Medina (Temple) tells the history of a Chicana/Latina feminist organization within the Catholic Church.
*A Primer on American Labor Law by William B. Gould IV (MIT Press). Updated version of textbook.
*13 Ways to Live by 13 musical artists from Texas (Red House Records). A CD to raise money for Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation for humanitarian programs in Iraq. Only a few songs are memorable, including Damage Done by Butch Hancock: "The worst is not the body count, nor battles lost or won, it's in the hearts of those who fail to feel the damage done."
*Why the Long Face by Suzzy and Maggie Roche (Red House). Two sisters who sing unusual songs, including one "for those whose work is invisible" (such as "those who paint the undersides of boats?seamstresses who stitch the wrong side of linings"), another about the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and another by a man who was an autistic child.
*The Dirty South by Drive-By Truckers (New West). Alabama's working class hard rockers take a new look at the John Henry story: "When John Henry was a little bitty baby, nobody ever taught him how to read?" Another song is about a veteran who "never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jima."
*Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love by Jonathan Richman (Vapor). Contains a few winners, including "He Gave Us the Wine to Taste It (and not to talk about it)," but better introductions to Richman's unique musical comic genius can be found on prior recordings such as Action Packed or *Jonathan Goes Country (Rounder). Don't Look for a Heartache by Jimmie Dale Gilmore (Hightone). Top-quality country music from a one-of-a-kind singer.
*Trilogy by Rob Wasserman (Rounder). If you have a fondness for virtuoso acoustic bass, this 3-CD set includes the longtime collaborator with Jerry Garcia playing bass solos, duets, and trios.
Public News Service provides radio stations with high-quality news on topics of interest to progressives. Currently operates in 12 states and looking to expand. More than 200 non-profit groups are supporting members, helping to fund coverage of a wide range of issues. For information about how to support and collaborate with this project, see publicnewsservice.org.