Yesterday I read that General Motors is eliminating 25,000 American jobs - more than 20% of its blue-collar workforce in the US. The company is supposedly bleeding money, though somehow I doubt the CEO took a pay cut.
I've been looking online for a workers' perspective, either from the UAW, or if they're too spineless, from another labor group. The thought of another 25,000 formerly well-paid Americans trying to get jobs at Wendy's and Wal-Mart is just too depressing.
Almost simultaneously, an email arrived from Purple Ocean, the political wing of the SEIU, leaders in the fight to hold giant retailers like Wal-Mart accountable to something besides their stockholders. They were plugging International Justice Day, a simultaneous demonstration by workers in several cities around the world.
You can support International Justice Day via a virtual march, by adding your name and message to their banner. If you live (in the US) in Miami, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, you can join them in person.
You can also rent Bread and Roses, Ken Loach's excellent film about janitors organizing in Los Angeles. Adrien Brody plays the union organizer, Pilar Padilla plays the Mexican immigrant whose life is changed by their actions. If you don't know Ken Loach, I highly recommend all the films of his I've seen, especially Carla's Song and Hidden Agenda. Hidden Agenda is a terrific paranoid-thriller about British activity in Northern Ireland, with Frances McDormand and Brian Cox, two amazing actors who can seemingly do anything.