Today is the 110th birthday of the Industrial Workers of the World (a.k.a., the Wobblies). Labor History in 2:00 offers a brief overview of the union and its famous founders. The Wobblies were persecuted by the federal government and their own policies of not signing contracts hindered their ability to grow. That said, the organization still exists and has carried out several successful organizing campaigns in recent years. As American workers struggle to have better pay and working conditions, it is important to know the history of groups like the IWW and other heroes of the American labor movement. Nothing will be won without solidarity and struggle.
Laura Clawson of Daily Kos contrasts retail stores that will be open on Thanksgiving and those that won’t. She quotes statements by an executive from Costco, who says that his company respects its employees, and an executive from Walmart, who says something about employees being excited to work on a “high energy day.”
While I think the companies are wrong to be open on this day, we as consumers bear guilt for this circumstance. If consumers valued the holiday over bargains, the stores would not be open. Corporations may be vile in their love of profit, but we are too often complicit in beating up our fellow workers.