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This edition of the free bulletin, World Wide Work, is published by the American Labor Education Center, an independent nonprofit founded in 1979.

Smoking gun.
In a stunning development, Wal-Mart Watch has obtained and released to the New York Times an internal company plan prepared for Wal-Mart’s board of directors that dramatically captures big corporations’ cynical vision for the future of our society.
In plain language, Wal-Mart makes clear that to be profitable it needs to not employ anyone who gets sick, anyone who becomes middle-aged or old, or anyone who needs to make higher wages as their seniority at the company increases. It also says it needs to shift even more jobs to part-time in order to avoid providing health coverage.
At the same time, the company is consumed with how to disguise this business strategy at a time when the company faces “reputation issues” because of “well-funded, well-organized critics.”
No document written by those critics could possibly express as eloquently as Wal-Mart’s own strategy memo the mammoth gap between the company’s definition of its role as the largest employer in America and the middle-class-building, standards-raising role once played by the unionized giants of the economy such as General Motors, U.S. Steel, and AT&T.
Links to the Wal-Mart memo and the New York Times story may be found at www.walmartwatch.com. Information is also provided there about how to get involved in the week of Wal-Mart Watch activities planned for Nov. 13-19.
New and worth noting…

has useful new content, including a simple tutorial on how to design leaflets using MS Word, and new tip sheets on paid advertising, doing news releases, effective direct action tactics, and the use of surveys. All of TheWorkSite’s tools and tips are available free and are downloadable so they can be adapted for particular uses.
*When Affirmative Action was White
by Ira Katznelson (W.W. Norton). A revealing book that casts new light on today’s debates about affirmative action by showing how key “universal” programs of the New Deal and Fair Deal, including Social Security, the GI Bill, and basic labor laws were set up and administered in such a way that they brought middle-class prosperity to millions of white families but not to blacks.
*Working Toward Whiteness by David Roediger (Basic). Explores the role of the labor movement and other institutions in the transformation of Eastern European, Italian, and Jewish immigrants – who were not originally treated as part of the “white” American majority -- into the “white ethnics” of today.
*Impossible Subjects by Mae M. Ngai (Princeton). Traces the development of the concept of the “illegal alien” in the U.S. and the evolution of public attitudes and public policy on immigration.
*The Fox in the Henhouse: How Privatization Threatens Democracy by Si Kahn and Elizabeth Minnich (Berrett-Koehler). A collaboration by an organizer and philosopher examines in depth the effects of the takeover of vital public services by corporate special interests. One bonus is that the book is sprinkled with song lyrics by Kahn, an accomplished songwriter and performer.
*The Great American Job Scam by Greg LeRoy (Berrett-Koehler). Documents in plain language the ways that corporations play off one state or city against another in order to get special subsidies in return for the promise of jobs. These subsidies that often equal more than $100,000 per job are virtually never conditioned on actually producing and maintaining jobs, let alone jobs with good pay, health coverage, and pensions.
*The Scorpion’s Tail by Sylvia Torti (Curbstone). A novel based on the author’s own experience as a scientific researcher who happened to find herself in Chiapas when the Zapatista revolt began. Has the ring of truth that comes from “writing what you know.”
*Watercolor Women Opaque Men by Ana Castillo (Curbstone). A novel in verse built on archetypal images of the experience of working class Mexican immigrant women.
*“Stories From Where We Live” Series (Milkweed Editions). A series of collections of stories, poems, and historical writings in which each volume focuses on a particular region of the U.S. Geared toward and intended for use in schools. See
www.milkweed.org for details.
* The New Division of Labor by Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane (Princeton/Russell Sage). Explores the impact of computerization on the future shape of the job market and the skills workers need.
* Restore the American Dream by Thomas Kochan (MIT). Explores policy proposals to help working people cope with today’s economy.
*Labor Embattled by David Brody (Univ. of Illinois). Focuses on the deterioration of labor laws in the U.S.
*The People’s Tycoon by Steven Watts (Knopf). A more than 500-page biography that explores the contradiction-filled life of Henry Ford, including his fierce opposition to unions even as he proclaimed that working people had to be paid enough to be good consumers.

*A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver
(Compadre). A memorable and moving collection of live performances by Guy Clark, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Todd Snider, and many more in honor of the Texas singer’s 65th birthday.
*Childish Things by James McMurtry (Compadre). Country rock that includes “We Can’t Make It Here” (see excerpt below).
*Rolas de Aztlan (Smithsonian Folkways). A collection of original recordings of songs of the Chicano movement during the 1960s, including songs of the Farm Workers movement and early recordings by Los Lobos.
*Waves. The Street Was Always There. One More Shot (Appleseed). The first two CDs are by Eric Andersen, applying his fine voice to hard-hitting songs by songwriters of the 1960s. One More Shot is a reissued 2-CD collaboration by Andersen, Rick Danko of The Band, and Norwegian singer Jonas Fjeld. Danko brought a light and melodic touch to the arrangements that is often missing in the Andersen-only releases.
*Bound for Glory (Smithsonian Folkways). Getting in on the wave of Bob Dylan publicity these days, Folkways has put out a sampler of 9 recordings by Woody Guthrie, Doc Watson, Leadbelly, Brownie McGhee, and others who Dylan listened to when he was starting out.
*Don’t Mourn – Organize! (Smithsonian Folkways). An historical collection of songs by or about legendary organizer and singer Joe Hill.  The highlight is Paul Robeson singing “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night.”
gives information about Military Families Speak Out, an organization of veterans of the invasion of Iraq and their families, including how to get involved in their activities and how to make a donation. MFSO was founded by Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson, both longtime leaders in the occupational safety and health movement in the U.S. Their son, Joe, served as a Marine in Iraq.
www.whorulesamerica.net is a site that tries to make social scientists’ thinking and findings about power and wealth accessible to students and activists.
[From “We Can’t Make It Here” on the CD “Childish Things” by James McMurtry (see above)
…Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are workin’ two jobs and livin’ in cars
Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof…
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far $5.15 an hour will go
Take a part-time job at one of your stores
Bet you can’t make it here anymore
Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
‘Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can’t make it here anymore
Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
Should I hate ‘em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away…
Their kids won’t bleed in their damn little war
And we can’t make it here anymore
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