Cesar, who was always good at symbols, saved his best for last: a simple pine box, fashioned by his brother's hands, carried unceremoniously through the Central Valley town he made famous.
While the edges continue to be smoothed off Martin Luther King Jr.'s bracing challenges to racism, war and free-market exploitation, the holiday is a time to remember a leader who believed civil rights and labor rights are tightly intertwined.
New York City's first transit strike in a quarter-century resulted in an agreement that both the union leadership and the MTA insist is the greatest contract ever--but that the union's left opposition calls a disastrous sell-out.
Labor issues involve not only economic rights, but also human rights,
in the US, but especially in nations around the world where the right
of free speech and assembly is not a given.
General Motors is dimming the headlights on its industrial utopia in
Spring Hill, Tennessee. The cutback at the visionary Saturn plant,
where workers and managers once shared decision-making and cooperated as equals, is the latest affront to US autoworkers and American self-esteem.
Buoyed by their defeat of Schwarzeneggar's "referendum revolution,"
Democrats and organized labor are now energized to defeat the
governor's re-election bid next year.
The cynical restructuring plan for bankrupt Delphi Automotive calls for
massive wage and benefit givebacks for 51,000 American workers.
Governors of affected states must craft strategies to minimize loss of
jobs and income.
Delphi's bankruptcy is a marker of a new America in which there is no
collective security, no union to make you strong, no government to give
you shelter, in which workers stand alone.
When one of New York's biggest and most liberal institutions gets into the business of union-busting, it's hardly an internal matter.
In the wake of the labor split, nothing revolutionary or even progressive is discernible in this schism.