Will George W. Bush's decision to seek congressional approval for invading Iraq slow down the war juggernaut? Up to now, Democrats have only been willing to declare, as Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) observed after President Bush's Sept. 4 address to congressional leaders, that "To date, the administration has not made the case for military action in Iraq." Even so, these voices have yet to swell into a chorus of serious opposition. Bush seems to be gambling that a month of hearings, ultimately, will produce more support than dissent.
Elena, a single mother living in San Diego, is well aware of the pressure to get off welfare and take whatever employment is available. "Get a job, get a job, then get a better job" was the message she got from her welfare caseworker. "I didn't buy that," she says. What was the point of taking a job if it meant losing ground financially? "If I am going to get off of welfare, it's because I can support my kids and support myself," she adds.
The first union negotiations at Harvard since the student-led 21-day sit-in have yielded a promising new contract with the local union representing food service and dining hall workers, including significant wage raises. While there are still flaws with the package -- future raises are not indexed to inflation, and there are still many workers in the union who start with wages under the $10.25 that constitutes a "living wage" in Cambridge -- the pay increases and other concessions set a high standard for the other near-future contract negotiations.
The conditions at the Korean owned Kukdong apparel factory in Atlixco, Mexico were appalling. They included use of child labor, physical abuse, refusal to provide maternity leave and benefits to pregnant workers, locking workers in during lunch and providing rancid food, and paying less than livable wages. Some workers had been beaten with hammers and screwdrivers, and leaders of a movement to establish an independent union were threatened and fired. The factory manufactures Nike, Reebok and other brand name clothing to be sold to universities and retailers.