The AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States, moved to counteract the shrinking union strength and the ever growing corporate power via legislation, the Employee Free Choice Act. Andy Levin and Stewart Acuff, two veteran union organizers, spearheaded the effort. In the summer of 2003, Acuff and Levin agreed on what the act would entail.
Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has spent almost two decades as a quasi-authoritarian state with the ruling Republican Party controlling most of its political, economic, and social institutions. Serzh Sargsyan became President in 2008 and under his rule, Armenia endured slow economic growth, high unemployment rates, and corruption.
Nigeria, the most populous African country, is filled with oil reserves, particularly in the Niger River Delta. Oil was the main national export, comprising 98% of Nigeria’s export earnings and 83% of government revenue in 2002. Starting in the mid-1980s, the Nigerian government subsidized fuel, letting Nigerians buy oil and gasoline at prices significantly below market levels.
On 11 September 1973, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinoche came to power and during the 1970s, he privatized Chile’s education system. The central government gave money to some private schools, while the public schools remained grossly underfunded. This commercialization of education began a legacy of educational attainment disparity along socioeconomic class lines—the poor received poor quality education, received jobs that paid meager wages, and remained poor, while the wealthy received high quality education, went on to university, and obtained well-paying jobs that increased their wealth.
In the early 2000s, as technological advancements expanded media
sources, media writers faced challenges receiving compensation for their
work that producers redistributed online and through television reruns.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA), comprised of the Writers Guild of
America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE)
represented the interests of over 12,000 “writers in the motion picture,
broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and
news.” On 18 May 2007, the WGA released a “Pattern of Demands” to the
The World Economic Forum (WEF) coordinated cooperation and activities for the largest and most influential corporations in the world and governments. According to one self-definition, it “engages political, business, academic and other leaders of society in collaborative efforts to shape global, regional and industry agendas.” Each year, WEF held regional meetings of 1000+ attendees. These leaders dominated the setting of economic and social policy around the world and promoted free trade and deregulation, often referred to as a “neo-liberal” agenda.
The French General Strikes in 2009 came during the first quarter of the country’s recession and was the first general strike in an industrialized nation since the global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. Economic forecasts predicted that the economy would contract by 2 percent in 2009 and that unemployment would reach 10 percent by 2010. In response to these poor economic predictions, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a $34 billion stimulus plan in December, which included capital infusions to banks of more than $11 billion.
The Belgian workers strike of 1960-61, often referred to as “Winter Strike” or “The Strike of the Century”, was considered to be one of the most important Belgian strikes of the 20th century. Strike history in Belgium had always been slightly unconventional compared to Northern European, North American, and French and Italian strikes. Differences existed in the frequency of strikes, the size of the strikes, as well as the duration. Belgium had frequent strikes pre World War II, and this history of striking contributed to the success of the Winter Strike.
Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Virginia began the first of a series of campaigns to improve the wages and working conditions of the University’s lowest paid employees in 1997. In 2006, students and faculty who identified themselves as members of the Living Wage Campaign conducted a year-long nonviolent struggle to raise the wages of the lowest paid University workers, which culminated with 17 students staging a sit-in in the President of the University’s office for four days before being arrested.
In the 1960’s, San Francisco was a center of the youth counterculture that was spreading across the United States. The civil rights movement, the Black Power movement, the Red Power movement, the Feminist movement, and LGBQT movement had all been challenging the dominance of the governing political elite.
Students and staff at the College of William and Mary campaign for higher wages for housekeepers 2010-2011
Beginning in 1999 and lasting into 2001, students at William and Mary and members of the Tidewater Labor Support Committee (TSLC) carried out what they called a "Living Wage Campaign," during which they protested and petitioned the school’s administration to raise the salary for housekeepers employed by the college. The campaigners declared victory after the administration conceded to raising wages of the housekeepers to $8.29 per hour, which was far from their original goal, and ceased their campaign in 2001.
In 1919, the United Textile Workers and Central Labor Union, in
a rush of union activity, managed to shorten the work week from 54 hours to 48
hours. The unions negotiated this reform by making a concession of an overall
cut in wages, which were already below the cost of living. Immigrant workers at
textile mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts welcomed the change in hours, but
could not afford a decrease in wages. Aware of a successful strike involving
immigrant workers in Lawrence back in 1912, the mill workers decided to use the
same tactic to combat the wage decrease.
From the mid-1990s into the early 2000s a wave of economic justice activism swept through college campuses in the United States, spurred in large part by the global justice movement’s spotlighting of corporate malfeasance in the United States and especially in the global South. Seeking to fight in solidarity with underpaid and unprotected laborers, a number of college campuses launched campaigns demanding their universities end the purchasing of apparel produced in sweatshops. Between 1999 and 2000, 18 campus campaigns used sit-ins and building occupations in pursuit of this goal.
In 20th century Australia indigenous workers were treated completely differently from the Caucasian settlers on the continent. Until the 1920s, for example, Aboriginals employed at pastoral stations in Australia received rations of clothing and food instead of cash wages.
The economic crisis which began in 2008 hit Spain harder than any other country in the European Union. They set eurozone records in 2011 with 21.3% unemployment and 43.5% youth unemployment. In an attempt to put a stop to the rapid collapse of the Spanish economy, the government passed sweeping employment changes in 2010. These changes made it easier for employers to hire and fire workers and increased the retirement age from 65 to 67.
The Arab Awakening came to the Middle Eastern country of Oman with a peaceful protest in the capital Muscat on 17 January, 2011. This campaign consisted of several groups that worked towards both individual and collective goals. The campaigners had many demands including: government reforms, an increased minimum wage, lower unemployment rates, and higher education rates.
In 1974, workers at seven textile plants in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina owned by the J. P. Stevens company voted to be represented by the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA). However, the company refused to sign a contract with the new union. In 1976, the TWUA merged with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) to form the American Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (ACTWU). The new union immediately launched a campaign to pressure J. P. Stevens to sign a union contract.
The Republic of the Maldives is a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka. The country is threatened by becoming completely covered by the sea because of climate change.
On 1 March 2012, 60,000 healthcare industry workers in Kenya began an indefinite strike in order to improve working conditions and salaries. Due to the massive commitment from healthcare workers, workers were prepared to suspend operations in hospitals throughout Kenya.
After U.S. President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the battle for health care reform truly began to build in the United States of America. In fall of 2009, Mobilization for Health Care for All began a campaign for a single-payer health care system, soon known as “Patients Not Profits.”
Starting in 1968, Salvadoran President Fidel Sanchez Hernandez began focusing his presidency on accomplishing three major reforms, in education, administration, and agriculture. The education reform he put in place upset Salvadoran teachers for three main reasons. First, teachers were required to pass every student to the next grade, when before they had “held-back” failing students. Second, the new mathematics curriculum taught concepts that Salvadoran teachers had never taught before and considered pointless.
The Walk to Work was a campaign that happened in Uganda led by the leader of The Forum for Democratic Change, Kizza Besigye. Its main goal was to curb the high cost of living as result of high food and fuel prices.
This campaign started after the general election in February 2011 and ended in June 2011. Though the leader of opposition lost the election in Uganda, this campaign propelled his “cause to the top of the agenda and won him far greater popularity than during the general election.
In 2012, Colombian coffee prices fell 35% on the international market while the Colombian peso appreciated 10%. A combination of crop disease, bad weather, and unfavorable currency rates forced growers in Colombia to sell their coffee at a loss. Many coffee growers then found themselves spending more on fertilizers and supplies than what they were making for their coffee.
On 14 July 2011, Daphni Leef, a freelance filmmaker, began a campaign to be known as the “Tent Revolt” or “Tentifada.” Leef, like many middle-class citizens in Tel Aviv and in the nation of Israel, faced great financial hardships in an economy that statistically should have provided a level of comfort. Barely able to afford her home, Leef created a Facebook page, inviting those with similar grievances to pitch tents on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv Thursday of that week in order to convince the government to lower housing costs.