Josh Eidelson

Josh Eidelson is a freelance writer and a former union organizer. Check out his blog here.

Recent Articles

Ambisextrous

Skepticism about bisexuality doesn't just hurt bisexuals -- it hurts the rest of the LGBT community as well.

(Flickr/Ben Wurdmuller) A sculpture outside a bar in Rochester, New York
I wish I had come out as bisexual earlier, and I'm sometimes embarrassed that I didn't given how much less I had to lose than those in far more hostile environments; I was at a socially liberal college, and I didn't have to fear being estranged from my family. Being attracted to women meant that I could pursue romantic relationships with the gender everyone expected me to without feeling like those relationships were dishonest, but I was troubled by a growing sense that the important people in my life didn't know the whole story. Part of what kept me from doing something about it sooner was the stereotype that bisexuals were lying to themselves -- that, for men, bisexuality was just a pit stop on the way to gayville. This week, I was encouraged and moved to read that scientists at Northwestern had confirmed what should be obvious: Bisexuality in men exists. The study , which measured arousal in men in response to images of men and women, contravenes a number of others that have...

Strike, Interrupted

The Verizon work stoppage ended when parties agreed to "restructure bargaining." Is this really a win for the labor movement?

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)Verizon workers picket outside one of the company's central offices Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, in Philadelphia.
The first of 45,000 Verizon workers went back to work last night after union representatives reached an agreement to end, at least for now, the largest American strike in four years. The standoff -- which started when Verizon tried to roll back benefits and protections for workers in its landline department -- ended without a contract for the company's unionized workers. But Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), says they have reached an "agreement to restructure bargaining" and that Verizon has backed down from the 100 concessions it asked its workers to make. The strike was an impressive show of large-scale solidarity. At best, it may have tempered the company's ambitions to undo 50 years of contract improvements in these negotiations, but it didn't take the largest worker concessions -- including increased health-care costs -- off the table. The limits of this strike are a painful reminder that, even if workers can protect their current contracts,...

Struck Out

Labor has lost its best tactics, which helps explain its decline.

(Flickr/Kheel Center, Cornell University)Strikers during the 1933 Dressmakers' Union strike take a break in a diner.
Nearly 3 million workers went on strike in the United States in 1952. In 2008, fewer than 100,000 did. In his new book, Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America, veteran union negotiator Joe Burns writes that American strikes have changed from "a means to bring economic pressure to bear" to "a weak form of moral witness." He argues that the decline in the frequency and efficacy of strikes is a cause, not a consequence, of the decline of the American labor movement. The Prospect spoke with Burns about what's changed, who's responsible, and what labor should do about it. Is the strike sick? Strikes today are not very effective. The reason is that over the last 75 years, employers have been effective at pressing courts and Congress to outlaw effective strike tactics. What kinds of tactics? Between the 1930s and the 1970s, trade unions had a powerful form of strike which transformed the wage structure of entire industries. It employed two key factors...

All Is Fair in Love and Class Warfare

The Wisconsin recall elections will show whether a populist message works for Democrats.

(AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, John Hart)
Wisconsinites head to the polls tomorrow for recall elections in six state senate districts. These elections (and two next week) will determine whether Governor Scott Walker will retain a Republican state senate majority, and will also gauge the likelihood that he'll face his own ouster in January. They'll also provide a rare test case for a brand of populist, anti-corporate campaigning that activists often call for but many Democrats shy away from. These Democrats are using a class-based message in six districts red enough to have elected Republican state senators on the same day Barack Obama was elected president. In the 2008 election cycle, candidates campaigned on who planned to lower taxes the most. Three years later, a victor from that year, state Senator Alberta Darling, is seeing her opponent, Sandy Pasch, argue against lowering taxes. Pasch's ads accuse Darling of "cutting education and health care to give tax breaks to big corporations" and "supporting the end of Medicare as...

All is Fair in Love and Class Warfare

The Wisconsin recall elections will show whether a populist message works for Democrats.

Wisconsinites head to the polls tomorrow for recall elections in six state senate districts. These elections (and two next week) will determine whether Governor Scott Walker will retain a Republican state senate majority, and will also gauge the likelihood that he'll face his own ouster in January. They'll also provide a rare test case for a brand of populist, anti-corporate campaigning that activists often call for but many Democrats shy away from. These Democrats are using a class-based message in six districts red enough to have elected Republican state senators on the same day Barack Obama was elected president. In the 2008 election cycle, candidates campaigned on who planned to lower taxes the most. Three years later, a victor from that year, state Senator Alberta Darling, is seeing her opponent, Sandy Pasch, argue against lowering taxes. Pasch's ads accuse Darling of "cutting education and health care to give tax breaks to big corporations" and "supporting the end of Medicare as...

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