Jake Blumgart

Jake Blumgart is a freelance reporter-researcher living in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter.

Recent Articles

A LITTLE BIT OF LABOR HISTORY REPEATING.

Last year, the workers of Republic Windows and Doors successfully brought back the sit-down tactic , providing one of the few sunny spots in the unrelenting gloom that is the American labor movement. The maneuver seems to be catching on as factories close and jobs become vulnerable. Last week, unionized workers at Hartmarx Suits in Chicago -- where Obama gets his impeccably tailored threads -- voted to stage a sit-in if the factory isn’t sold to someone who will preserve their jobs. On Friday, textile workers in Rochester, New York, also voted to occupy their plant. And earlier this year, in another display of militancy, non-union workers in Rhode Island reacted to their jewelry plant’s surprise closing by obstructing the entrance to the bankruptcy sale, an action which resulted in multiple arrests. After the Republic Windows victory, labor gleefully speculated that this display of worker activism might augur a return to the fighting spirit of the movement's heyday. They might have...

REMEMBER ALL THOSE OTHER GAY ISSUES?

The recent judicial and legislative victories for marriage equality in Iowa , Vermont , and soon (possibly) D.C have again brought same-sex marriage to the forefront of the national discourse. Unfortunately, the myopic media focus on the marriage wars has eclipsed every other LGBT issue. Given all the coverage of this topic over the last year, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is the only injustice bedeviling the LGBT community. That simply isn't the case. While the media, public, and mainstream gay right's movement are focused on marriage equality, attention and resources are not being directed toward other pressing issues. Among them: Recent studies have shown that the HIV/AIDS rate among men who have sex with men (MSM) is still disproportionately high, comprising 71 percent of U.S. male HIV infections, even though only 5 to 7 percent of the male population identifies as MSM. " Stonewalled ," an Amnesty International report from 2005, reports disturbing levels of...

The New Terms of the Labor Dialogue

TAP talks to Kate Bronfenbrenner, a labor specialist at Cornell, about what EFCA means for women, the media war over the bill, and Obama's trade team.

Labor studies departments and professors are popular targets for right-wingers, and many academics prefer to avoid the risk and wrath of corporate-connected trustees. That's why Kate Bronfenbrenner is organized labor's go-to professor. She has not backed down from her dizzyingly thorough research, despite having been sued by anti-union corporations for slander and libel (they even demanded that she turn over her research notes). Bronfenbrenner, who is director of labor education research at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, has close ties to both the AFL-CIO and the Change To Win federations, both of which rely heavily on her research. The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA or "card check"), which will be one of the more controversial bills of this legislative session, is based in part on her work. For the labor-obsessed, many of the depressingly familiar statistics on organizing -- that employers will fire at least one worker during 25 percent of unionization...

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