North America

Retired Detroit bus mechanics denounce cuts to pensions and transportation services

By Shannon Jones and Debra Watson, 19 June 2014

The World Socialist Web Site recently spoke with two retired Detroit bus mechanics about the upcoming vote on the Plan of Adjustment proposed by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

California court ruling signals nationwide attack on teacher tenure, seniority rights

By Gabriel Black, 12 June 2014

The anti-teacher ruling was immediately hailed by the Obama administration as creating a “new framework for the teaching profession” for the entire country.

Illinois Democrats gut Chicago city worker pensions

By Alexander Fangmann and Kristina Betinis, 12 June 2014

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill cutting the pensions of tens of thousands of Chicago workers by an estimated 20 percent.

US House Republican leader defeated in primary election

By Patrick Martin, 12 June 2014

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a right-wing Republican, lost to a challenger who managed to outflank him from the right on immigration and budget-cutting.

Detroit officials agree at DIA press conference: Workers must pay for bankruptcy

By Larry Porter and Jerry White, 12 June 2014

An announcement that the Big Three automakers are contributing a paltry sum to the so-called Grand Bargain was used to demand that retirees support the plan to gut their benefits.

Unrest grows as Mexico’s economy goes into slump

By Don Knowland, 12 June 2014

President Peña Nieto’s plan to modernize the Mexican economy has led to slower growth and widespread disaffection with government policies.

Internal GM report shields top executives for cover-up of deadly car defects

By Jerry White, 6 June 2014

The internal investigation claims bureaucratic incompetence and communication glitches were behind the automaker’s failure to recall defective vehicles responsible for scores if not hundreds of fatal accidents.

Workers at Detroit retiree meetings voice anger over pension cuts

By Shannon Jones, 6 June 2014

Following the pattern of previous retiree meetings, organizers presented an ultimatum—accept the drastic cuts contained in the plan of adjustment or face far worse.

Bipartisan deal on US veterans’ health care includes step toward privatization

By Kate Randall, 6 June 2014

Under a two-year trial, veterans who live 40 miles or more from a VHA facility “will be able to go to the doctor of your choice, under the direct supervision of the VA.”

Michigan steel worker crushed to death on the job

By Zac Corrigan, 6 June 2014

Thirty-one-year-old Andrew Beckman was crushed by over 3,000 pounds of steel rods at a Saginaw steel plant.

California governor Jerry Brown calls for raising teachers’ pension contributions

By Kevin Martinez, 6 June 2014

As part of his May budget revision, California governor Jerry Brown is calling for increasing teachers’ contributions into the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

Teachers and transit workers ratify New York City contract deals

By Alan Whyte and Dan Brennan, 6 June 2014

The mood among teachers and transit workers is far from one of satisfaction.

Ontario NDP and unions in spat over what rightwing road to follow

By Carl Bronski, 6 June 2014

The campaign that the social-democratic NDP has mounted for the Ontario elections has been described, not without reason, as being to the right of that of the governing big business Liberals.

Median CEO pay in US tops $10 million

By Andre Damon, 29 May 2014

The median compensation of chief executives of US corporations listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index has grown by more than 50 percent since 2010.

Obama defends global US interventionism in West Point speech

By Bill Van Auken, 29 May 2014

In a speech riddled with lies and evasions, the US president put forward a rationale for continued US aggression in every corner of the planet.

Supreme Court issues unanimous decision defending police in fatal shooting

By Tom Carter, 29 May 2014

The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday in favor of three Arkansas police officers who fired 15 bullets at a fleeing motorist and his passenger, killing both.

Supreme Court stops Florida execution, requiring more evidence to assess mental competency

By Gabriel Black, 29 May 2014

The Supreme Court stopped the execution of a man from Florida on the basis that the judge needed to allow more evidence to assess his mental competency and that an IQ test was not always enough.

Detroit “blight” task force calls for demolition of 20 percent of city’s housing stock

By Thomas Gaist, 29 May 2014

Such a vast destruction of housing is historically unprecedented outside of conditions produced by war or natural disaster.

Governor’s revised budget signals renewed attack on California workers

By Dan Conway, 29 May 2014

After years of cuts, the new budget is being seized upon as an opportunity to cut billions more from social programs.

Occupy Wall Street protester jailed for three months in case of police beating

By Sandy English, 20 May 2014

In a ruling designed to intimidate opponents of social inequality in the US, a judge in New York City sentenced Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan to 90 days in jail.

Quebec charges employees, not owners, of railroad in Lac-Mégantic tragedy

By Jeff Lusanne, 20 May 2014

Charges of criminal negligence have been filed against three employees of the now-bankrupt Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railroad, but not its CEO and principal shareholder.

Detroit’s “plan of adjustment”: A declaration of war against the working class

By Jerry White, 8 May 2014

All the major political actors—the courts, the two big business parties, the corporate-controlled news media and the trade unions—have taken sides against the working class.

Obama nominates author of drone memo for appellate court judge

By Ed Hightower, 8 May 2014

President Barack Obama has nominated David Barron, the author of pseudo-legal memos that authorize the drone assassination of US citizens, as a judge for a top appellate court.

Fed Chief Yellen reassures Wall Street on interest rates

By Patrick Martin, 8 May 2014

In testimony before Congress, Yellen indicated that the US Federal Reserve would keep interest rates at their current near-zero level for the foreseeable future.

Video shows police gunning down unarmed man in Long Beach, California

By our correspondent, 8 May 2014

A cellphone video shows police in Long Beach, California opening fire at an unarmed man who is fleeing down a flight of stairs.

“Positive” US jobs report reflects economic stagnation

By Patrick Martin, 3 May 2014

While the official jobless rate declined, 800,000 workers dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work.

Oklahoma execution: Clayton Lockett was tasered by guards before lethal injection

By Thomas Gaist, 3 May 2014

A UN statement condemned the execution as “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” while Obama defended the use of lethal injection for “heinous” crimes.

Public meetings in Albuquerque attempt to defuse anger over police brutality

By D. Lencho in Albuquerque, 3 May 2014

The restricted character of the DOJ meetings showed that they were aimed not at addressing the sources of police brutality, but at restoring public confidence in a police department that has been totally discredited.

New York City mayor and UFT announce nine-year teachers’ contract

By Fred Mazelis, 3 May 2014

The tentative agreement, designed to set a pattern, shows the role of the unions as guarantors of “labor peace.”

Supreme Court reinstates Michigan ban on affirmative action

By John Andrews, 24 April 2014

In a fractured ruling with five separate decisions by the eight participating justices, the US Supreme Court has upheld a voter-enacted prohibition of racial preferences in Michigan.

Parents of crash victim speak on GM recall

“There wasn’t anyone in senior management who didn’t know about this”

By Shannon Jones, 24 April 2014

GM denied any responsibility for the accident in which air bags failed to deploy, despite knowing about the deadly ignition defect.

Twitter campaign backfires on New York Police Department

By Sandy English, 24 April 2014

Within an hour of the first postings, hundreds of people had uploaded photographs of police brutality.

US lenders force students to pay off loans in full on death of co-signers

By Andre Damon, 24 April 2014

If the debt is not immediately paid in full, the loan is placed into default, destroying borrowers’ credit records.

Minnesota renewable energy law overturned by North Dakota coal company lawsuit

By Gabriel Black, 24 April 2014

Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act, which barred the state from taking on new coal energy sources, was overturned by a federal judge on Friday.

The social counterrevolution accelerates in Detroit

By Jerry White, 17 April 2014

All the principal political actors are being lined up in Detroit to browbeat workers over the next several weeks into accepting a bankruptcy restructuring plan, which contains sweeping attacks on the working class.

GM seeks to squelch lawsuits stemming from ignition defect

By Shannon Jones, 17 April 2014

The company is asking a bankruptcy judge in New York to block lawsuits from accidents that occurred prior to July 2009.

New wave of tuition hikes proposed for California universities

By Marko Leone and Clodomiro Puentes, 17 April 2014

Despite the passage of Prop 30 in 2012, universities throughout California are seeking to impose new tuition hikes and fee increases.

Public meeting April 23 in Detroit: No to water shutoffs!

17 April 2014

The Detroit Workers Inquiry and the Socialist Equality Party are holding a public meeting April 23 to mobilize the working class against mass water shutoffs in the city of Detroit.

Baltimore hospital workers go on three-day strike

By Adam Soroka, 17 April 2014

About 2,000 maintenance workers, janitors, technical workers and kitchen staff staged a three-day strike last week at Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) to demand higher wages.

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.