North America

Workers Struggles: The Americas

15 April 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Department of Justice reports Albuquerque police engaged in “excessive force”

By D. Lencho and Stuart Winters, 12 April 2014

The US Department of Justice released a damning report on escalating violence by the Albuquerque Police Department.

Texas executes Mexican citizen in defiance of international law

By Kate Randall, 11 April 2014

Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, a Mexican national with severe mental disabilities, died by lethal injection with a drug from an unidentified source on Wednesday in Texas.

As savage cuts to pensions and benefits loom

Detroit Workers’ Inquiry speaks to city retirees at club luncheon

By representatives of the Detroit Workers’ Inquiry, 11 April 2014

Retirees spoke to the Workers’ Inquiry about the attack on pensions, skyrocketing health care costs and the economic decimation of Detroit.

Obama’s empty eulogy for Fort Hood shooting victims

By Jerry White, 10 April 2014

The hollow remarks of the president and the general atmosphere of the memorial left an impression of callousness combined with perplexed anxiety over the mounting signs of crisis within the ranks of the American military.

More attacks on right to vote in US states

By Ed Hightower, 10 April 2014

Nineteen states have either enacted or taken steps towards measures limiting the right to vote.

Democrats’ plan to gut pensions approved by Illinois legislature

By Alexander Fangmann, 10 April 2014

New legislation backed by the Democratic Party and the unions will require more in contributions from city workers while cutting benefits.

Detroit Emergency Manager offers 78 cents on the dollar to major creditors

By Thomas Gaist, 10 April 2014

The offer is a huge increase from the 15 cents on the dollar previously proposed.

While wages, jobs stagnate

Median CEO pay in US tops $10 million

By Patrick Martin, 5 April 2014

The median worker would have to work 257 years to earn as much as the typical top 500 CEO made in 2013 alone.

Another mediocre US jobs report

By Andre Damon, 5 April 2014

The latest US jobs report points to a continued slump following the economic collapse five-and-a-half years ago.

“Cuban twitter” affair exposes USAID as instrument of regime-change

By Bill Van Auken, 5 April 2014

Washington insisted that its role in setting up an Internet text-messaging scheme be kept secret from the Cuban people.

Texas carries out lethal injection with drug from unidentified source

By Kate Randall, 5 April 2014

Tommy Lynn Sells was executed Thursday after the US Supreme Court denied a petition that charged his lethal injection constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

Worker killed at US Steel facility in Ecorse, Michigan

By Thomas Gaist, 5 April 2014

The incident comes just months after the death of Antonino Palazzolo, whose mother has accused the company of blocking a serious investigation into her son’s death.

Former US baseball pitcher alleges police brutality ended his career

By Tom Hall, 5 April 2014

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Brandon Backe and 11 co-litigants allege that Galveston police indiscriminately attacked a wedding party in 2008.

Four years since the Upper Big Branch mine disaster

By Clement Daly, 5 April 2014

Saturday marks the fourth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine tragedy in Montcoal, West Virginia, when a massive explosion ripped through the Massey Energy-owned mine, killing 29 coal miners.

Rival right-wing appeals dominate Quebec election campaign

By Keith Jones, 3 April 2014

The Parti Quebecois has responded to a spate of opinion polls that indicate it will fall from power in next Monday’s provincial election by even more aggressively promoting its anti-democratic “identity agenda.”

Mexico captures drug cartel head

By Don Knowland, 3 April 2014

The Mexican military has captured the number one narcotics trafficker in Mexico, Joaquín Guzmán of the Sinaloa cartel.

How Fed Chair Yellen packaged her commitment to Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 3 April 2014

Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on Monday was a nauseating attempt to conceal her deep commitment to the interests of Wall Street behind expressions of concern for working people.

Toyota pays $1.2 billion to escape prosecution for defect deaths and injuries

By James Cogan, 21 March 2014

The fine agreed by Toyota and the US Justice Department sets a precedent that can be used by General Motors.

The CIA, the Senate and the breakdown of American democracy

By Patrick Martin, 13 March 2014

The public clash between the Senate and the CIA reflects the effective collapse of democratic forms of governance in the United States.

Obama peddles private health care to young people in web interview

By Andre Damon, 13 March 2014

President Barack Obama appeared in an episode of the comedy interview web series Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis Tuesday in an effort to salvage the pro-corporate Obamacare program.

At least three dead in Manhattan explosion blamed on gas leak

By Fred Mazelis, 13 March 2014

Ten people are still missing and 60 were injured in the massive explosion, which destroyed two apartment buildings. There are signs that aging infrastructure is to blame.

Quebec: PQ welcomes right-wing billionaire as star candidate

By Laurent Lafrance, 13 March 2014

The emergence of the CEO who has served as the spokesman for the most voracious sections of big business as the champion of Quebec independence underscores the reactionary class character of the indépendantiste movement.

Republican wins special election in Florida

By Matthew MacEgan, 13 March 2014

Republican David Jolly narrowly defeated Democrat Alex Sink, due in part to Sink’s support for the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration.

Detroit emergency manager examines privatizing the water department

By James Brewer, 13 March 2014

Orr is exerting pressure to have a plan in place by the time of the bankruptcy hearing with the city’s creditors next month.

SEP (Canada) meeting to oppose PQ’s chauvinist Charter, unite workers on socialist program

8 March 2014

As part of its fight to arm the working class with a socialist-internationalist program, the SEP is holding a public meeting in Montreal on March 20 to oppose the Quebec government’s anti-democratic Charter of Quebec Values.

Canada supports Ukraine coup, threats to Russia

By Keith Jones, 4 March 2014

Canada’s Conservative government is issuing bellicose threats against Russia in unison with the Obama administration.

US Justice Department protocols include sweeping attacks on press freedom

By Eric London, 4 March 2014

New protocols published by the Obama administration standardize widespread First Amendment violations.

What the 2008 Federal Reserve transcripts reveal

By Andre Damon, 4 March 2014

The release of Federal Reserve transcripts from 2008 shines a light on decisions that shaped political and economic conditions for years to come.

Unarmed man dies in custody of Oklahoma police

By E.P. Bannon, 4 March 2014

Luis Rodriguez was pepper sprayed, held down on the pavement and placed in two sets of handcuffs.

California Democrats attack pension protections

By David Brown, 4 March 2014

San Jose mayor Chuck Reed is pushing for an amendment to the state Constitution to remove protections for public employee pensions.

Detroit emergency manager targets bus riders, transit workers

By Debra Watson and Mitch Marcus, 4 March 2014

Both bus riders and bus drivers in Detroit are being singled out for further pain under Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s Plan of Adjustment.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

4 March 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

The political lessons of the UAW debacle in Tennessee

By Jerry White, 27 February 2014

The rejection of the United Auto Workers union by workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee has provoked an outpouring of handwringing and despair from liberal and pseudo-left publications.

US Supreme Court backs police on warrantless searches

By Patrick Martin, 27 February 2014

The 6-3 majority backed the warrantless search of a home after police arrested the resident who had objected to it.

New York City budget exposes contrast between mayor’s rhetoric and reality

By Philip Guelpa, 27 February 2014

New mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposals reveal the emptiness of his campaign promises to address the growing poverty and unemployment that have made New York one of the most unequal cities in the world.

Video: Attendees speak on the Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit

By Jeff Lusanne, 27 February 2014

In this video, workers and youth reflect on the content of the Inquiry, its significance and the way forward in the fight to defend the rights of working people.

100 years since founding of the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office

By Alan Gilman, 20 February 2014

In 2014, the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office marks a century since its founding, amid unprecedented attacks on the right to counsel.

Plant closings, layoffs hit Michigan workplaces

741 Delta workers face job cuts at Detroit airport

By Shannon Jones, 20 February 2014

The nation’s third largest air carrier is contracting out ground worker jobs to low wage service providers.

West Virginia law firm accused of “cutthroat approach” to fighting black lung claims

By Clement Daly, 20 February 2014

Numerous reports and studies have documented the alarming resurgence of black lung throughout the coal mining industry.

The hazardous race for petroleum profits in North Dakota

By Gary Joad, 20 February 2014

The explosive growth of hydrofracturing for oil and gas exposes workers and the public to dangers.

Ontario Conservatives renew push for labor “reform”

By Carl Bronski, 20 February 2014

The unions have responded to the threat of US-style “right-to-work” laws by appealing to big business to recognize the pivotal role they play in policing the working class.

Detroit sanitation workers denounce privatization

By Thomas Gaist, 20 February 2014

The plan to privatize trash collection was pre-authorized by the Detroit’s emergency manager and rubber stamped by the City Council on Tuesday.

Striking University of Illinois at Chicago faculty and students speak out

By Kristina Betinis, 20 February 2014

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with striking faculty members and student supporters on the picket lines at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

18 February 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

NSA spying poses “direct threat to journalism,” watchdog group warns

By Kate Randall, 14 February 2014

The Committee to Protect Journalists is warning that the spy agency’s dragnet of communications data threatens to make it “next to impossible for journalists to keep sources confidential.”

The Workers Inquiry into the bankruptcy of Detroit

By <em>World Socialist Web Site</em> Editorial Board, 14 February 2014

On Saturday, the Socialist Equality Party in the US is holding an Inquiry to reveal the social and political roots of the Detroit bankruptcy and provide workers with the information they need to fight back.

More than 100,000 gallons released in West Virginia coal slurry spill

By Clement Daly, 14 February 2014

More than 100,000 gallons of coal slurry—a toxic liquid mixture of cleaning chemicals and coal refuse—contaminated about six miles of a stream in Kanawha County.

Interview with director of homeless shelter in Long Beach

California’s homeless: Casualties of class warfare

By our correspondents, 14 February 2014

WSWS reporters recently visited a Long Beach, California homeless shelter.

Obama White House targeting American for drone murder

By Bill Van Auken, 11 February 2014

The aim of the AP report is to lend a veneer of "transparency" and legality to a conspiratorial and unconstitutional program of state murder.

Mass unemployment in America

By Andre Damon, 11 February 2014

Speaking Friday in advance of signing a bill slashing $8.7 billion from the food stamp program, President Obama hailed the dismal jobs report for January.

Former State Department employee pleads guilty to information leak

Obama’s war on journalism continues

By Ed Hightower, 11 February 2014

Stephen Jin-Woo Kim is one of nine US citizens to be prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act by the Obama administration as part of the latter’s war on journalism.

US Supreme Court justice declares mass internment inevitable

By Tom Carter, 11 February 2014

Referring to America’s mass internment of people of Japanese ancestry during the Second World War, current Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia declared, “You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.”

Two Brooklyn men freed after 21 years in prison for wrongful murder conviction

By Kate Randall, 11 February 2014

A record 87 exonerations were recorded in the United States in 2013.

Build rank-and-file committees to defend VW workers

Reject UAW-Volkswagen company union

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (US)

11 February 2014

Workers have no interest in voting for recognition of the UAW, which functions as a pro-company police force in the auto plants.

Unite the working class behind University of California workers!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (US)

11 February 2014

UC workers throughout California will be casting ballots in a strike vote beginning today.

Workers Struggles: the Americas

11 February 2014

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature

Canada’s government curtly dismisses concerns over blanket spying

By Keith Jones, 6 February 2014

Canada’s Conservative government and its intelligence agencies are vigorously defending the state’s arrogation of the power to spy on Canadians’ electronic communications.

The Detroit bankruptcy ruling

By Jerry White, 5 December 2013

The Detroit bankruptcy ruling handed down Tuesday is a turning point in class relations in the United States.

Obama postures as an opponent of inequality

By Andre Damon, 5 December 2013

Having presided for the past five years over an unprecedented growth of social inequality, President Obama in a speech on Wednesday adopted the unlikely pose of tribune of egalitarian values.

Illinois legislature passes bill to cut pensions

By Kristina Betinis, 5 December 2013

The passage of cuts in Illinois only hours after a bankruptcy court ruled that the pensions of Detroit city workers can be slashed points to a nationally coordinated attack on the working class.

Mexican government accelerates drive to privatize state oil industry

By Bill Van Auken, 5 December 2013

Encircled by riot police and metal security fences, Mexico’s congress is expected to soon enact constitutional amendments allowing the partial privatization of the state energy firm, PEMEX.

On-the-job accident kills Ohio coal miner

By Naomi Spencer, 5 December 2013

The death of Ohio miner Ryan Lashley brings to 20 the number of US coal miners killed on the job this year.

Detroit workers and students react to bankruptcy ruling

By Thomas Gaist, 5 December 2013

A WSWS reporting team spoke with Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers and Wayne State University students Wednesday about the Detroit bankruptcy ruling.

Emergency manager, Michigan governor testify in Detroit bankruptcy case

By Thomas Gaist and Jerry White, 29 October 2013

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Governor Richard Snyder testified about their roles in preparing the Chapter 9 filing during Monday’s trial.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

4 September 2013

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

UMW pushes through new concessions contract with Patriot Coal

By Clement Daly, 21 August 2013

UMW members in West Virginia and Kentucky approved a new contract with bankrupt Patriot Coal, which fails to secure funding for retiree health care

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 July 2013

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

23 July 2013

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 July 2013

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

2 July 2013

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

18 June 2013

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Snowden defends actions as Obama administration pushes for prosecution of whistleblower

By Thomas Gaist, 14 June 2013

FBI director Robert Mueller pledged to take “all necessary steps” to go after Snowden, as the former intelligence employee said from Hong Kong: “I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality.”

FEMA refuses disaster relief to West, Texas

By Matthew MacEgan, 14 June 2013

The federal government has refused to provide additional money to help rebuild the small Texas town of West, where a fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 people in April.

Deadly chemical plant explosion in Louisiana

By Matthew MacEgan, 14 June 2013

On Thursday an explosion and fire at a chemical plant in Geismar, Louisiana, killed at least one person and injured at least 73 others.

Philadelphia inspector involved in building collapse commits suicide

By Nick Barrickman, 14 June 2013

On Wednesday night the body of Philadelphia building inspector Ronald Wagenhoffer was found with a gunshot wound to the chest.

What Edward Snowden has revealed

By Joseph Kishore, 11 June 2013

The World Socialist Web Site calls on workers around the world to come to the defense of Edward Snowden, who is the subject of a ferocious assault by the American state.

Obama administration initiates criminal prosecution of NSA whistleblower

By Thomas Gaist, 11 June 2013

Representatives of the US establishment demanded swift action to punish the man responsible for leaks detailing the government’s massive surveillance program.

Media silent on the state killing of Boston bombing witness

By Tom Carter, 11 June 2013

The ubiquitous silence from the political establishment and the media amounts to an acknowledgement that Todashev was terminated by the state.

Reject the USW sellout in South Milwaukee! For an independent struggle by the working class!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 11 June 2013

The Socialist Equality Party is distributing the following statement to South Milwaukee Caterpillar workers urging them to reject the sellout deal being pushed by the United Steelworkers.

Philadelphia schools to lay off nearly 4,000 teachers

By Nick Barrickman, 11 June 2013

The “doomsday” budget passed last month will devastate the Philadelphia public school system.

SEP mayoral candidate speaks at two Detroit election forums

By Bryan Dyne, 11 June 2013

D’Artagnan Collier, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for Detroit Mayor, spoke at candidate forums Friday and Saturday, calling for a mass movement of the working class to oppose the financial manager.

SEC rules that Harrisburg misled investors

By Douglas Lyons, 11 June 2013

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sided with bondholders against the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

California’s San Onofre nuclear plant to shut down permanently

By Richard Vargas, 11 June 2013

The plant has been inoperative for more than a year due to radioactive steam leakage.

Nashville Symphony threatened by foreclosure

By Fred Mazelis, 11 June 2013

The Nashville Symphony Orchestra is the latest prominent US musical institution to face the threat of dissolution, as its biggest creditor, the Bank of America, has begun foreclosure proceedings.

Obama reshuffles national security staff

By Alex Lantier, 6 June 2013

Obama announced Wednesday that his national security advisor, Thomas Donilon, will be replaced by the current US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice.

Bradley Manning’s supervisors testify in third day of court martial

By Naomi Spencer, 6 June 2013

The government is determined to connect Manning to Al Qaeda, arguing that because the WikiLeaks web site is publicly available to anyone, Manning must have intended to “aid the enemy.”

Worker dies from extreme heat at Georgia auto parts plant

By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 6 June 2013

Teresa Pickard, a 42-year-old Sewon auto parts worker, died May 29 after working on a weld line in the LaGrange plant.

Hamtramck latest Michigan city declared in “financial emergency”

By Bryan Dyne, 6 June 2013

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder took the first step in installing an emergency manager for Hamtramck, the small enclave surrounded by Detroit.

Canada: Growing evidence Conservatives illegally suppressed vote in 2011 federal election

By Carl Bronski, 6 June 2013

A Federal Court judge has found that a nationwide voter suppression campaign was initiated from the Conservative Party’s central database during the 2011 federal election.

Unemployment, lack of education lead to higher US mortality rate

By Jake Dean, 6 June 2013

A new report finds that unemployment is one of the leading factors behind the growing gap in mortality rates between educated and non-educated white women in America.

US: Kansas legislature passes budget slashing education

By Matt Sloan, 6 June 2013

Among other measures, the budget will gouge the state’s universities, colleges, and community colleges of tens of millions of dollars.

US Supreme Court allows police to take DNA samples of arrestees

By Joseph Kishore, 4 June 2013

The US Supreme Court decision is a major attack on the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Bradley Manning’s court martial begins

By Naomi Spencer, 4 June 2013

After 1,100 days in prison, Army private Bradley Manning faced a military court martial Monday. Day one of the trial was characterized by government secrecy, vindictiveness, and lies.

School district of Philadelphia passes “doomsday” austerity budget

By Nick Barrickman, 4 June 2013

Under a plan approved May 30, Philadelphia schools will be deprived of many needed essentials, including learning programs, supplies and staff.

Connecticut legislature nears passage of austerity budget

By Dorian Griscom, 4 June 2013

Connecticut’s Democratic governor and state legislature are in the final stages of drafting a state budget that will cut nearly $2 billion in social spending over the next two years.

Patriot Coal bankruptcy approved, thousands of retirees to lose health care

By Clement Daly, 4 June 2013

Patriot Coal has been granted permission to tear up its collective bargaining agreements with the United Mine Workers and escape its obligations to provide health care to its retirees.

Detroit emergency manager threatens sale of all cultural treasures

By Bryan Dyne, 4 June 2013

In line with his earlier appraisal of the value of the works at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Kevyn Orr is now determining whether the city should sell off every other public asset.

US banks post record profits in first quarter

By Nick Barrickman, 30 May 2013

US banks posted a record $40.3 billion in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Nine of Louisiana’s ten public hospitals to be privatized

By E.P. Bannon, 30 May 2013

In a state with one of the highest poverty rates in the country, the privatizations of public hospitals will have disastrous consequences for the poor and uninsured.