Megan Tady

Megan Tady is a national political reporter for In These Times and a freelance journalist based in Western Massachusetts.

Recent Articles

Trading Arms for Farms

A new movement is finding work for returning Iraq veterans on small-scale farms across the country. The results have been positive for vets -- and for struggling rural communities.

Finally home from combat in Iraq, Steve Edwards felt detached from his friends and family. Edwards had witnessed the highly publicized death of his friend, California National Guardsman Patrick McCaffrey, in June 2004. Edwards was the first to tell Patrick's mother what the military would not: Patrick was shot by the Iraqi soldier he was training. The Pentagon eventually acknowledged these claims in 2006. Edwards himself was also injured by a roadside bomb that left him with a limp. "I was happy to be home; I was happy to be with my wife and daughter again," Edwards said. "But even with family, I just didn't feel like I belonged anymore. At least, I didn't feel like I belonged around people like my wife and daughter, who were just innocent." Suffering from acute post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Edwards withdrew. One particularly dark night, he called Patrick's mother, Nadia McCaffrey, who had been counseling many veterans who had served with her son. Edwards had locked himself...

Mall Madness as Janitors Try to Unionize

SEIU is working to organize janitors at shopping centers -- and the cleaning companies they contract with -- around the country.

While shoppers at Paramus Park Mall in New Jersey push their feet into gleaming new Nikes, untwist salty soft pretzels, and stride past pasty-white plastic mannequins cloaked in fall fashion, janitors are polishing the floors with unease. As part of a wider campaign to free mall workers from low wages and unfair working conditions, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) began organizing janitors employed by the cleaning contractor Service Management Systems (SMS) at Paramus Park. Within weeks, workers say supervisors with SMS threatened to fire anyone who supported the union. "We work everyday with fear," Christian Valle, a janitor at Permaus Park, told The American Prospect through an interpreter. Valle said he wanted to join the union for "job security" because "sometimes [SMS doesn't] pay us the full hours, they raise their voices at us, and they threaten to fire us so we don't become part of the union." In July, SEIU filed an unfair labor practice charge with the...

Tracking Pharma Gifts to Doctors

A slow wheel is beginning to turn in Congress in favor of forcing Big Pharma to disclose the amount of change it's dropping into doctors' pockets.

While it's no secret that pharmaceutical companies lavish gifts on doctors -- everything from free notepads and pens to meals to the more extravagant paid trips or seminars -- most patients are in the dark about who, exactly, is courting their physicians. But Congress may be finally acknowledging this relationship, one important step toward creating a national gift registry so patients can track the perks Big Pharma is giving to their doctors. In June, the nonprofit government watchdog Public Citizen testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging in favor of federal legislation that would require drug companies to disclose payments to doctors. But the group urged lawmakers, before jumping on the proposal, to examine a Petri dish of existing disclosure laws. Although four states and the District of Columbia already have disclosure laws on the books, the group says they are "inadequate" and do not give patients a clear picture of how money is changing hands. The pharmaceutical...