United States

Notes from the campaign trail

SEP establishes Ann Arbor election campaign committee for Michigan’s 12th congressional district

By Niles Niemuth, 4 August 2018

The campaign of Niles Niemuth for Congress established its first election committee in Ann Arbor this week and announced its first round of public meetings across the district.

US Senate backs $708 billion military authorization

By Patrick Martin, 3 August 2018

The 87-10 vote, with 41 Democrats joining 46 Republicans in support, represents final congressional approval for the record-breaking war spending.

Bottom 40 percent of Americans have a negative net income

By Gabriel Black, 3 August 2018

A report by Reuters shows that nearly half of the US population does not earn enough money to cover expenses and is increasingly dependent on unsustainable levels of debt to survive.

Following IAWV exposure at Texas warehouse

More Amazon workers speak out against atrocious working conditions

By Evan Cohen, 3 August 2018

Amazon warehouse workers face staggering rates of injuries, routine harassment, high turnover and authoritarian surveillance.

“The union is essentially a puppet for the company”

What is life like for a permanent part-time UPS worker?

By Will Morrow, 3 August 2018

The WSWS spoke with Sean, a 32-year-old part-time UPS warehouse worker, who described the conditions for UPS workers, the abuse of workers by management, and the complicity of the Teamsters.

Lafarge investigation exposes US-French collusion with ISIS in Syria

By Francis Dubois, 3 August 2018

Former Foreign Secretary Laurent Fabius claimed to know nothing about it, but ties between terrorist groups and the former Socialist Party government are rapidly coming to light.

Long Island Rail Road derailment underscores decay of New York’s transportation infrastructure

By Josh Varlin, 3 August 2018

The derailment affected thousands of commuters well into the evening rush hour.

Socialist Equality Party (US) holds Fifth National Congress

3 August 2018

The Socialist Equality Party in the United States held its Fifth National Congress July 22-27 in Southeast Michigan.

No challenge filed to Socialist Equality Party candidate’s nominating petition in Michigan

By our reporter, 3 August 2018

The Michigan Board of Elections will not formally decide whether to certify Socialist Equality Party candidate Niles Niemuth until September 7, but the deadline has passed for any outside group, such as the Democratic Party, to file a challenge.

Amid trial of former campaign chairman, Trump urges attorney general to end Russia probe “right now”

By Barry Grey, 2 August 2018

The Manafort trial is one of several recent developments pointing to an escalation by Special Counsel Mueller of his campaign against Trump.

Financial parasitism and the American oligarchy

By Patrick Martin, 2 August 2018

Behind the incessant claims of no money for urgent social needs is the drive by the top 0.1 percent to monopolize all the wealth created by the working class.

Facebook censors anti-fascist rally in Washington

By Andre Damon, 2 August 2018

The campaign to censor the internet, initially presented as a response to alleged Russian “meddling,” is increasingly targeting left-wing political viewpoints.

Teamsters union keeps 240,000 UPS workers on the job as contract expires

By Will Morrow, 2 August 2018

The union is aware that there is widespread opposition to the deal and is seeking to buy time to wear down the workers and impose a contract demanded by the company.

Trump set to hike tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2018

The US is actively considering escalating proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent up from the initial level of 10 percent.

Town hall fails to ease concerns over industrial toxins found in Parchment, Michigan drinking water

By Joseph Lorenz, 2 August 2018

In a tightly controlled meeting, local and state officials sought to dispel the anger of residents who learned last week that their water has dangerous levels of PFAS chemicals.

Immigration police launch political attack on Portland mayor for backing anti-ICE protests

By Kayla Costa, 2 August 2018

Based on the absurd claim that anti-ICE protesters threatened the lives of federal immigration agents, ICE employees sent a cease and desist letter to the mayor.

Washington, D.C. metro union seeks to bury members’ strike vote

By Nick Barrickman, 2 August 2018

After an overwhelming vote by its members to strike in July, ATU Local 689, with a membership of over 8,000 public transit workers, has sought to drag out discussions between it and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Autoworkers speak out against UAW corruption, voice support for Kokomo Fiat Chrysler workers

By Jessica Goldstein, 2 August 2018

The World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter spoke with autoworkers in Chicago and Kokomo, Indiana about the corruption scandal which has wracked the United Auto Workers.

Resolution of the SEP (US) Fifth National Congress

Free Julian Assange!

2 August 2018

This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Socialist Equality Party Congress, held July 22–27.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?—A new documentary about Fred Rogers and his television program

By Hiram Lee, 2 August 2018

Fifty years after the debut of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on US public television, a new documentary explores its history and influence.

Trump plans a $100 billion tax bonus for the rich

By Niles Niemuth, 1 August 2018

The Trump administration is preparing to change the calculation of the capital gains tax so as to funnel billions more to the top 10 percent.

California’s burning: The social and political background of the deadly infernos

By David Brown, 1 August 2018

For the second year in a row, the US state of California is the scene of death and destruction, as wildfires surge throughout the state and drive thousands from their homes.

UK Parliament “fake news” report demands sweeping internet censorship

By Robert Stevens, 1 August 2018

The report calls for a crack down on individuals and political organisations, social media and alternative media sources that expose the plans of the imperialist powers.

TSA tracks unsuspecting passengers under “Quiet Skies” program

By Kevin Martinez, 1 August 2018

The program allows federal air marshals to follow and report on American citizens not suspected of a crime, not under investigation, and not on any terrorist watch list.

Florida’s “stand your ground” law under heavy scrutiny following shooting

By Matthew MacEgan, 1 August 2018

Two weeks ago, a white man shot an unarmed black man over a parking spot at a convenience store but was not arrested.

Ronan Farrow’s latest #MeToo “bombshell,” directed against Leslie Moonves of CBS

By David Walsh, 1 August 2018

The New Yorker magazine has posted Farrow’s new article, detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against Leslie Moonves, the chairman, president and CEO of CBS Corporation.

Five months after strike, West Virginia teachers say “nothing has changed”

By Nancy Hanover, 31 July 2018

The unions double-crossed the West Virginia teachers, ending their struggle without securing funding for the PEIA, which underwrites their health insurance.

Tesla assembles cars in a tent amid investigations of workplace safety

By Toby Reese, 31 July 2018

The company continues to show a net loss despite massive outside investments as it attempts to work out assembly line problems amid reports of serious workplace safety violations.

Politics in bad faith: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaigns in Michigan

By Andre Damon, 31 July 2018

Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign is a cynical effort to put a “left-wing,” “progressive,” youth-oriented, and multicultural gloss on the right-wing, pro-war Democratic Party.

As UPS, steel and telecom companies demand wage freezes

Workers in US face growing class battles

By Jerry White, 30 July 2018

Employers are not only refusing to relent on wages, they are doubling down and demanding new givebacks on healthcare, pensions and work rules.

Extended-stay motel fire kills mother and five children in Michigan

By Joseph Lorenz, 30 July 2018

This tragedy underscores the desperate and dangerous living conditions confronting millions of low-income and unemployed workers across the US.

US midterm election campaign enters final 100 days

By Patrick Martin, 30 July 2018

Both parties are so out of touch with the realities of life for most Americans as to give their campaigns a delusional character.

US hospitals fail to prevent unnecessary maternal deaths and injuries

By Brian Dixon, 30 July 2018

Based on recent data, a USA Today article last Thursday concluded that the United States was the most dangerous country in the developed world for women to give birth.

Seven killed, hundreds of homes destroyed as Carr wildfire spreads across Northern California

By Alec Andersen, 30 July 2018

Some 38,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate the area, many of whom have been forced to proceed to hastily-constructed relief centers run by charities.

Mississippi: No charges for police officers who fatally shot worker in address mix-up

By Nick Barrickman, 30 July 2018

The decision to deny charges comes nearly a year after Ismael Lopez’ death sparked protests and opposition within Southaven, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee.

Teamsters union blames opposition to sellout contract on “internet trolls”

By Will Morrow, 30 July 2018

The union’s campaign recalls the United Auto Workers’ denunciations of exposures of its 2015 sellout contract as “fake news.”

Mobilize the working class behind Indiana autoworkers

Kokomo Fiat Chrysler workers: Form a rank-and-file strike committee to fight for jobs and safety!

By the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter, 30 July 2018

If autoworkers are to prevent another sellout by the UAW, they must take control of the struggle into their own hands by electing rank-and-file strike committee.

House Democrats vote for record US military spending

By Patrick Martin, 28 July 2018

The Trump White House hailed House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides the resources for US military aggression around the world.

Trump administration proposes more cuts to drug discount program for safety net hospitals

By Kate Randall, 28 July 2018

The Trump administration and pharmaceuticals’ opposition to the 340B program is based on boosting the profits of the drug companies and clawing back any government regulations on them.

High levels of toxic chemicals found in drinking water of west Michigan community

By Carlos Delgado, 28 July 2018

City officials announced to residents of Parchment, Michigan Thursday that their water contained dangerously high levels of PFAS chemicals.

Ocasio-Cortez, DSA seek to give “left” cover to right-wing Democratic Party

By Niles Niemuth, 28 July 2018

Supporters of Niles Niemuth, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for the US Congress from Michigan’s 12th District, are distributing this statement at appearances by DSA member and Democratic candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

UAW corruption scandal reaches the top

By Shannon Jones, 27 July 2018

The revelation that the just-retired UAW president authorized the illegal use of money from company-funded joint training centers demonstrates that the organization is engaged in a criminal conspiracy against auto workers.

Hundreds of immigrant children remain separated from parents as court deadline passes

By Patrick Martin, 27 July 2018

The forcible separation of parents and children by the Trump administration is an act of mass kidnapping and a crime against humanity.

Political warfare in Washington escalates with subpoena of Trump organization CFO

By Alec Andersen, 27 July 2018

The subpoena comes in the wake of an abortive effort to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus.

Qualcomm deal scuttled: China hits back at US in trade war

By Nick Beams, 27 July 2018

The collapse of the takeover has far-reaching implications for other high-tech companies that had been waiting for the outcome of the Qualcomm-NXP deal before proceeding with their own plans.

Democrats visit Flint: Hypocrisy, lies and cover-up

By Sheila Brehm, 27 July 2018

During a press conference in Flint, Michigan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chose to attack Trump not for gutting the EPA or aid to hungry families but for “Russian meddling”

The Trump-Juncker agreement: A manoeuvre in the global trade war

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2018

The threat by Washington to impose a 25 percent tariff on auto imports has not been removed, but only suspended while negotiations go ahead on broader trade relations.

Seven months after Trump’s tax cut

Corporate tax collection rate at historic low

By Gabriel Black, 26 July 2018

The trillions in deficits created by the tax cuts for the rich will be used to justify further slashes to critical social programs that millions of Americans rely on.

US and Australian ministers agree to intensify military integration against China

By Mike Head, 26 July 2018

The joint AUSMIN statement reaffirmed a “steadfast and enduring” alliance dating back to World War I.

Trader Joe’s manager killed by Los Angeles police in shootout

By John Burton, 26 July 2018

Melyda Corado was killed Saturday afternoon by a police officer shooting at a suspect fleeing into the store.

Military-style immigration raids: Coming to a workplace near you

By Eric London, 26 July 2018

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced plans Tuesday for mass workplace raids and the surveillance of tens of thousands of workplaces.

Democrats’ anti-Russia campaign leaves most Americans unmoved

By Barry Grey, 25 July 2018

Despite the hysteria whipped up inside the Beltway and among affluent sections of the upper-middle class, the Democrats’ anti-Russia campaign is finding no significant response among the broad mass of the American people.

Trump administration deported up to 463 immigrant parents without their children

By Tom Hall, 25 July 2018

The admission by government lawyers raises the prospect that hundreds of parents separated under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy might never see their children again.

Top aide to former UAW vice president makes plea deal

By Shannon Jones, 25 July 2018

Nancy Johnson pleaded guilty to charges related to the illegal payout of more than $1.5 million by Fiat Chrysler aimed at securing favorable contract terms from the United Auto Workers.

Verizon and CWA cut a deal to shift healthcare costs to workers

By our reporter, 25 July 2018

In an effort to prevent a repeat of the 2016 strike, the Communications Workers of America has agreed to a deal that will impose further healthcare givebacks.

Hospital workers go on strike in Rhode Island

By John Marion, 25 July 2018

Workers called the strike after rejecting a new contract by vote last week.

Mounting outrage in US over conditions facing detained immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 24 July 2018

Hunger strikes and lawsuits have exposed the barbaric treatment of refugees and immigrants at detention facilities in the US.

017 Trump and Medicare payments

24 July 2018

Near unanimous vote to strike by Fiat Chrysler workers in Kokomo, Indiana

By Marcus Day, 24 July 2018

Autoworkers are increasingly seeking to fight back against the deterioration of working conditions, in particular the atrocious treatment of temporary part-time (TPT) workers.

American justice: New York City cop who killed Eric Garner may lose vacation days

By Daniel de Vries, 24 July 2018

Daniel Pantaleo has remained on the job pending an internal investigation into the 2014 strangling death of Garner.

After overwhelming vote for strike action

Washington, D.C. transit union conspires with Metro officials while keeping members in the dark

By Nick Barrickman, 24 July 2018

Metro workers have been without a contract since 2016, when negotiations broke down over questions of pay cuts, job security and privatization of services.

Cynthia Nixon discovers “democratic socialism” in challenge to NY Governor Cuomo

By Fred Mazelis, 24 July 2018

Nixon’s campaign is part of the effort, following the victory of Democratic Socialists of America member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to give the Democratic Party a “left” facelift.

Rates of black lung highest in 25 years among Appalachian coal miners

By Tom Hall, 23 July 2018

Decades after the deadly disease was nearly eradicated, more than one in five veteran coal miners now suffer from black lung disease.

Bernie Sanders embraces the anti-Russia campaign

By Patrick Martin, 23 July 2018

There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats’ making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a “left” cover.

Teamsters union blackmails UPS workers: Approve contract or your wages will be cut

By Will Morrow, 23 July 2018

Teamsters Local 647 president Brian Hammond sent a letter to UPS workers that wage increases will be diverted to their pensions if they fail to ratify the contract.

Steam pipe explosion in Manhattan spreads asbestos

By Sandy English, 23 July 2018

The accident is the latest in a series that points to the decay of the physical infrastructure in New York.

Media, #MeToo silent on widespread sexual assault of detained immigrants

By Eric London, 21 July 2018

A July 17 report revealed 1,310 reports by immigrants of rape and sexual assault at detention centers from 2013 to 2017.

Washington Post columnist calls for intervention of the “deep state”

By Andre Damon, 21 July 2018

“With a supine Congress unwilling to play the role it is assigned by the Constitution, the deep state stands between us and the abyss,” declares Post columnist Eugene Robinson.

Democrats, Teamsters and UAW promote deal to continue robbing pensions

By Kayla Costa, 21 July 2018

The Butch-Lewis Act of 2017, backed by the Democrats and unions, only serves as a new way to cut pensions down to poverty levels.

UAW holds strike authorization vote at Fiat Chrysler’s Kokomo, Indiana transmission operations

By Shannon Jones, 21 July 2018

Workers have expressed a determination to fight deteriorating working conditions, including management’s attempt to force temporary part-time workers to perform overtime.

Seventeen dead in Missouri after duck boat sinks during thunderstorm

By Jacob Crosse, 21 July 2018

Multiple safety warnings were ignored for the sake of ticket sales.

Washington D.C. transit union calls for “cooling off period” after Metro workers overwhelmingly vote to strike

By Nick Barrickman, 21 July 2018

The struggle for decent pay, job protections and high quality benefits be removed from the hands of the ATU bureaucrats immediately.

The Democratic Socialists of America: Providing a “left” cover for a right-wing Democratic Party

By Patrick Martin, 21 July 2018

DSA candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are seeking to disguise the drastic shift of the Democratic Party to the right on domestic, and especially, foreign policy.

Report exposes rise in alcohol-related deaths among Millennials in US

By Isaac Finn, 20 July 2018

The increase is one part of a rising number of “deaths of despair” caused by suicide and drug and alcohol abuse, which have contributed to declining life expectancy in the US.

Executions in Texas and Ohio

By Kate Randall, 20 July 2018

Both condemned inmates suffered traumatic childhoods, committed heinous murders, expressed remorse for their crimes, and were executed by the state.

Construction accident claims the life of another New York worker

By Mark Witkowski, 20 July 2018

The death of Angel Espinosa is the latest in a growing number of workplace fatalities in the state with fatalities steadily increasing over the last two decades.

What is “our democracy”?

By Eric London, 20 July 2018

At the heart of the Democratic Party-led anti-Russia hysteria is the claim that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, threaten “our democracy.”

Democrats abstain on House resolution praising ICE thugs

By Andy Thompson, 20 July 2018

The Republican resolution in support of Immigration and Customs Enforcement passed with only 38 Democrats opposing.

The Yellow Birds: Damaged or destroyed by the Iraq War

By Joanne Laurier, 20 July 2018

The Yellow Birds is based on the 2012 novel of the same title by Kevin Powers. The story revolves around three American soldiers and the devastating impact of the Iraq War on their lives and psyches.

The “treason” charge against Donald Trump

By Bill Van Auken, 19 July 2018

The Democrats have adopted a well-worn narrative from the history of the US right, merely changing the word “communism” to “Russia.”

Claiming that the war on poverty has been won, Trump administration works to gut social programs

By Shelley Connor, 19 July 2018

The White House report doubles down on the one consistent theme of the Trump administration: that the poor are imagining their poverty, and that all they lack is self-sufficiency and the impetus to work.

“We should be governing ourselves in this fight”

UPS workers’ opposition grows to Teamsters sellout

By Will Morrow, 19 July 2018

The proposed deal maintains poverty level wages for part-time workers, introduces a new lower-paid “hybrid” worker, and does nothing to address unsafe working conditions.

American Federation of Teachers convention devoted to boosting Democratic Party candidates

By Nancy Hanover, 19 July 2018

In the aftermath of the biggest teachers’ strike wave in 40 years, the American Federation of Teachers bureaucracy is seeking to head off a militant movement and defend its interests by promoting the Democrats in the mid-term elections.

Amid silence from Democrats on attacks on immigrants

Trump moves to restrict asylum

By Alec Andersen, 19 July 2018

While the Democrats and the media are obsessing over Trump’s supposed pro-Russian “treason,” the administration is escalating its assault on the right to asylum.

Socialist candidate for Congress Niles Niemuth submits thousands of signatures for ballot access in Michigan

By our reporter, 19 July 2018

Niles Niemuth, the Socialist Equality Party's candidate for US congress, formally filed for ballot access Wednesday, submitting nearly 6,000 signatures from residents of Michigan's 12th district.

In South Africa speech deploring “exploding inequality”

Obama boasts: “I’m surprised how much money I got”

By Barry Grey, 19 July 2018

Obama may be surprised at his recent entry into the American financial oligarchy, but it’s not for lack of effort on his part to “join the club.”

Under massive pressure, Trump backpedals on Russia “meddling”

By Andre Damon, 18 July 2018

This entire sordid episode demonstrates the degree to which the intelligence apparatus, with its single-minded pursuit of military conflict with Russia, holds sway over the American state, media and political establishment.

California Democratic Party leadership snubs Feinstein in reelection bid

By Dan Conway, 18 July 2018

The California Democratic Party leadership endorsed Senator Dianne Feinstein’s opponent, State Senator Kevin de Leon, although Feinstein is still heavily favored in the November election.

“Profit over people? The people make those profits possible”

UPS workers respond to surge in company stock following Teamsters’ sellout contract

By Kayla Costa, 18 July 2018

A driver with 12 years told the WSWS the union was “making deals with the company to suit them, not the members.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agrees to contract with city’s largest union

By Ali Elhassan, 18 July 2018

The three-year deal, covering 100,000 workers, contains a paltry raise that will be paid for by increased out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Notes from the campaign trail

SEP volunteers in Michigan speak on powerful support from workers for a socialist perspective

By our reporters, 18 July 2018

Supporters and members of the Socialist Equality Party share their stories from campaigning to put Niles Niemuth on the ballot in November for Michigan’s 12th congressional district.

Actress Scarlett Johansson attacked for representing a “group to which she doesn’t belong”

By David Walsh, 18 July 2018

There is nothing positive or progressive about Johansson’s announcement that she is withdrawing from Rub & Tug, a film project about a transgender massage parlor owner with underworld connections.

After Helsinki, Democrats incite “deep state” action against Trump

By Bill Van Auken, 17 July 2018

Trump’s appearance alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki unleashed a wave of denunciations from Democrats and the media, with former top intelligence officials calling for his ouster.

As protests continue, Chicago police release footage of Harith Augustus’ murder

By our reporters, 17 July 2018

The footage was released very quickly, against official protocol, as the city attempts to defuse popular anger over the shooting and police aggression towards protesters.

Wall Street celebrates Teamsters deal with UPS

By Kayla Costa, 17 July 2018

UPS workers are in a direct fight with the Teamsters union, which is seeking to impose management’s dictates and defend the financial interests of the union executives.

Vermont Medical Center nurses fight low pay and understaffing

By Mike Ingram, 17 July 2018

Nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center held a 48-hour strike last week after months of stalled negotiations for a new contract.

Pharmaceutical distributors flooded Missouri with opioids

By Shelley Connor, 17 July 2018

A Senate report found that three pharmaceutical companies shipped a total of 1.6 billion doses of opioids into Missouri between 2012 and 2017.

Families forced to rely on charity after Wisconsin explosion

By Jacob Crosse, 17 July 2018

The investigation into last week's explosion in Sun Prairie that killed one firefighter is still “ongoing,” with little information being released to the public.

Notes from the campaign trail

SEP campaign volunteers reflect on talking to thousands of workers in Michigan’s 12th District

By our reporters, 17 July 2018

Supporters and members of the SEP share their stories from campaigning to put Niles Niemuth on the November ballot for Michigan’s 12th congressional district.

Trump vs. the Democrats: Two reactionary factions fight over foreign policy

By Andre Damon, 16 July 2018

Prior to Trump’s upcoming meeting with Putin, the Democratic Party, the media and intelligence agencies have been demanding that the anti-Russia campaign be intensified.