Home » Archive

Articles in the Labor Category

Economic Development, Education, Featured, Headline, Labor, Politics, Public Education, Sprawl, Urban Planning »

[14 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]
Ohio and the Fate of the “Big Eight”

The 2010 Census produced mixed results for America’s “legacy cities,” that is deindustrialized cities located primarily, but not exclusively, in the Midwest and in the Mid-Atlantic states. While east coast cities like Newark and Philadelphia actually posted population gains, Midwestern Rust Belt cities generally continued their long slide down in terms of population growth. This proved especially true in the state of Ohio, formerly a key manufacturing hub and once arguably the heartland of Industrial North America. For not only have Ohio’s major cities continued to shrink, their population loss …

Art, Editorial, Featured, Headline, Labor, Regionalism »

[11 Feb 2014 | No Comment | ]
Documenting Pittsburgh’s Labor Culture

Worker with United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America flag – Pittsburgh, PA
“There are no saviors, we are our own saviors. We have the capacity to save ourselves. Not individually no, but we have the capacity to band together, work together and understand that in order to create a better world, we need to create a world in where we all live better. If we create a world where only some live better, we haven’t created a better world.” - Mel Packer, Pittsburgh Activist & Community Organizer
When it …

Book Review, Brain Drain, Economic Development, Featured, Great Lakes, Headline, Labor, Politics, Race Relations, The Environment, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning, Urban Poverty »

[3 Jun 2013 | No Comment | ]
A literary triumph – “Nothing But Blue Skies” by Edward McClelland

It is difficult to describe how truly outstanding the book entitled Nothing But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America’s Industrial Heartland is to read. As a nearly lifelong Rust Belt resident, I can attest to the fact that Edward McClelland’s newly released book simply nails our industrial heritage, decline, and hopeful potential squarely on the head. From nationally known politicians like Dennis Kucinich or Coleman Young to the everyday blue-collar laborer toiling in our mills and factories, Mr. McClelland personifies the Rust Belt like no other book I have ever read on the subject. As a Lansing native, he has personally witnessed the dramatic (and sometimes catastrophic) changes just in his lifetime. In Nothing But Blue Skies, Mr. McClelland takes the reader on a quasi-chronological step-by-step sequence of events that shook the Rust Belt down it its very core.

Featured, Labor, Public Transportation »

[9 Apr 2013 | One Comment | ]
Is Ed Glaeser Wrong About Detroit?

Two weeks ago, Ed Glaeser, professor of Economics at Harvard and author of The Triumph of the City, wrote another in a series of articles that use Detroit as an example of a failed city that has lost its “entrepreneurial culture,” despite, and perhaps because of, large public investments in infrastructure and housing (see Bloomberg articles, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and City Journal.) In these articles, Glaeser consistently argues that the country should learn from Detroit’s experience and, more-or-less, uniformly avoid federal infrastructure spending. He argues that cities should focus instead on deregulation and lowering taxes that scare away would-be entrepreneurs. “Failed public policies that tried to fix Detroit with urban renewal and transportation projects stand as stark evidence against the view that our economic woes call for more federal spending on infrastructure,” says Glaeser.

Labor »

[12 Dec 2012 | No Comment | ]

Union members tearing down a Koch Brothers (Americans for Prosperity) tent in front of the Michigan Statehouse. A Fox News anchor getting punched in the face. Was there ever a better metaphor for the central struggle in America right now?

As someone who was born 10 miles from the state border, I just can’t imagine Michigan without unions. It would be hard to recognize.
-A.S.

Featured, Labor, Politics »

[7 Nov 2011 | No Comment | ]
Will Ohio Go “Blue” Tomorrow?

Horse race journalism! Not even non-journalist bloggers without advertisers can resist it!
All kidding aside though, if I was a national political observer I would be watching Issues 2 and 3 in Ohio’s election tomorrow with interest.
Issue 2 seeks to repeal Governor Kasich’s Senate Bill 5, which restricts the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers.
I am going to go out on a limb here but I would bet my Netflix subscription that this one is going down in flames. Governor Kasich and his henchmen in Columbus could write a law …

Featured, Labor »

[20 Oct 2011 | No Comment | ]
A First Person Account from Occupy Pittsburgh

By Karen Lillis
On October 15, I marched with Occupy Pittsburgh, the city’s first action in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. I watched excitedly as the crowd grew throughout the day, building from a modest gathering when my partner and I arrived at Freedom Corner at 10:00 a.m., to a rally in the low thousands by the time the march reached Market Square at 1:00 p.m. In sharp contrast to national anti-Occupy jeers against the “dirty hippies” and stereotypes of …

Economic Development, Great Lakes, Green Jobs, Headline, Labor »

[28 Oct 2010 | No Comment | ]
Cleveland Wins $15M for Co-Op Revitalization Strategy

This is a very big deal. Big.

The city of Cleveland was chosen as one of five cities to share $80 million in grant funding through the Livable Cities Initiative.

Funders were impressed, specifically, by the city’s efforts to establish cooperative workplaces to serve the region’s major employers–including the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital.

We’ve written before about the Evergreen laundry, where workers from the Hough neighborhood are earning a stake in the company for hours put in doing laundry for local institutions.

Economic Development, Headline, Labor, U.S. Auto Industry »

[15 Aug 2010 | 5 Comments | ]
Does Youngstown’s Revival Leave the Working Class Behind?

Who is benefiting from the strides being made to redevelop the city of Youngstown?
That is the question posed by Center for Working Class Studies at Youngstown State University, in a critical article titled “A Renaissance for Whom?”

The authors point out that despite the success of high-tech start-ups in the city’s downtown, the average city resident has seen her fortunes decline during the current recession. And the situation wasn’t pretty before that.
“Much has been written recently about Youngstown’s Renaissance,” write YSU professors James Rhodes and John Russo on the CWCS’s blog. …

Featured, Labor »

[9 Aug 2010 | One Comment | ]
Two Women’s Struggle to Save NE Ohio’s Last Textile Plant

“Keep Cleveland working!”was the chorus outside a Hugo Boss plant in west Cleveland this January.
The plant had been scheduled for outsourcing by overseas executives that spring. 350 people were told they were losing their jobs, despite the fact that the plant was turning a profit for the high-end suitmaker.
The Plain Dealer is carrying a great article about the struggle to save Cleveland’s Hugo Boss factory, Northeast Ohio’s last textile plant. The story follows the leadership of two women employees in a courageous and ultimately successful campaign to save their jobs. …