David Macaray

David Macaray, a Los Angeles playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor”), was a former union rep. He can be reached at dmacaray@earthlink.net

Articles by this author

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Friday, January 6, 2012 - 9:19am
It’s the Season of Recess-Appointments
Just hours after recess-appointing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, President Obama recess-appointed three people to the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board), giving it a full complement of five members for the first time in more than a year. The three new members are Sandra Block, Richard Griffin and Terrence Flynn. They join current members Mark Pearce and Brian Hayes. Block, Griffin and Pearce are Democrats; Flynn and Hayes are Republicans.
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 12:52pm
Nordic Whoring: US Workers Get Cheap
Sociologists tell us that the reason an otherwise happily married man will seek the services of a prostitute is because he knows she will do things his wife would never consent to do. Whether or not that explanation is accurate, the same perception appears to be Sweden’s reason for embracing the American worker. Judging from their recent actions, Swedish companies are convinced they can get American workers to do things their own citizens would never do.
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Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 3:04pm
10 Reasons Why Labor Unions Are Going to Win
Yes, congressional Democrats and President Obama have been major disappointments, and yes, the forces arrayed against organized labor have done considerable damage. But despite the damage, despite the hype generated by Fox News, and the self-serving propaganda disseminated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the anti-labor crowd has run out of steam. They’ve lost their momentum. Here are 10 reasons why organized labor will prevail.
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Friday, December 23, 2011 - 8:36am
Labor Comes Away With a Rare Victory
On December 21, the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) approved rule changes that will help streamline the union election process. Historically, one of biggest hurdles facing membership drives has been management’s use of stalling tactics. Management knows that the more time it has to intimidate, flatter, threaten, cajole, and otherwise confound the workforce, the better its chances of keeping the union out.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 8:28am
The NLRB Under Assault
If organized labor were to list the three worst things that could happen to it, one of them would surely be having the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board, established in 1935) close up shop. While the NLRB hasn’t always performed to labor’s satisfaction (indeed, its reluctance to act has been the source of consternation and heartburn), it has, nonetheless, proven itself indispensable.
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Sunday, October 9, 2011 - 9:28am
Who Can Believe How Far We’ve Fallen?
How many stockbrokers, lawyers, bankers, accountants, or aluminum siding salesmen would turn down a big, fat pay raise if it came with strings attached? What if accepting that raise was contingent upon future new-hires being denied the opportunity to earn those same wages? Would they make a personal sacrifice for these unsuspecting, future employees—reject a pay raise as a matter of principle—or would they take the money and run? My guess is that most would take the money.
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Sunday, July 3, 2011 - 2:09pm
Massey Energy: When Greed Leads to Manslaughter
Just when we thought Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (in Montcoal, West Virginia) mining disaster of April 5, 2010, which killed 29 coal miners, couldn’t elicit any more tears or regrets or disgust or outrage, we find out how wrong we were.
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Monday, June 20, 2011 - 12:33pm
Organized Labor's Ultimate Weapon
The practice known as “union-busting” isn’t limited to goon squads cracking heads, or companies hiring public relations firms that specialize in scare tactics and intimidation. In its broadest sense, union-busting describes what congressional Democrats have been doing since the 1980s—taking labor’s money while voting against workers’ rights, giving tough speeches at union halls, then using weasel words when addressing business groups, and refusing to go on the record as unabashedly “pro-union.”
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Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 11:14am
Larger Profits + Safety Shortcuts = Death
It was a year and six weeks ago (April 5, 2010) that 29 coal miners died in a massive explosion in Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, West Virginia, making it the worst U.S. mining disaster since 1970. On May 19, 2011, an independent investigation commissioned by the state’s former governor reported conclusively what everybody involved already knew….that the accident was the result of safety violations by Massey management. In truth, the Upper Big Branch mine was more or less a death trap.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 9:09am
The United States Has Mexico….and Sweden Has Us
Who would have imagined that Sweden—of all countries—with its heavily unionized workforce, its social programs, its liberated sexual attitudes, its minimum wage of $18 per hour, and its 5 weeks of guaranteed paid vacation, would dare treat the United States the way….well, the way the United States treats Mexico?
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