Michelle Chen

Michelle Chen is a contributing editor at In These Times. She is a regular contributor to the labor rights blog Working In These Times, Colorlines.com, and Pacifica's WBAI. Her work has also appeared in Common Dreams, Alternet, Ms. Magazine, Newsday, and her old zine, cain.

Articles by this author

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Monday, December 1, 2014 - 8:30pm
World AIDS Day: The Journey Ahead
The AIDS crisis was the first true epidemic of the era of globalization. Its rapid and devastating spread blasted through borders and stoked worldwide panic, in part because it seemed relatively democratic in its choice of victims, rich and poor alike. As the crisis “went viral” in a pre-Internet...
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Friday, November 28, 2014 - 8:30am
This Is Black Friday in Bangladesh
Walmart marks the holiday season this Friday with deals on its Faded Glory women’s sweaters. But this time of year marks a different occasion in another corner of Walmart’s empire: In Bangladesh, survivors and families remember the second anniversary of a massive fire at the Tazreen factory on the...
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Friday, November 21, 2014 - 3:15pm
What Will Happen to the Immigrants Left Out of Obama’s Executive Actions?
In his speech last night announcing his latest executive action on immigration policy, President Obama took great pains to tell the country what his new immigration policy is not: it is not “amnesty,” just a way for people to avoid deportation; it is not citizenship, just work authorization; it won...
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Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 10:30am
How a Fatal Disaster at Mt. Everest Has Turned Into a Full-Blown Labor Struggle
Mount Everest is known as a place that defies gravity, but it’s also a place for upturning social order. To the climber, it’s the pinnacle of a glorious trekking experience. To the anonymous laborer who supports the Westerners’ ascent, it’s a precarious front in a Global South class struggle.
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Volunteers construct an environmentally friendly home for Central Valley Habitat for Humanity. (AP Photo/The Daily News-Record, Nikki Fox) Views
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 8:00am
Where Have All the Green Jobs Gone?
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is in, reminding us once again that time is running out for governments and industry to decarbonize the economy : Within a generation, policymakers must tighten emissions regulations, shift to clean energy sources, promote greener...
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French workers take part in a demonstration over labor reforms in Toulouse. (Reuters/Jean-Philippe Arles) Views
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 6:30am
What the French E-mail Meme Reveals About America’s Runaway Culture of Work
Last week, a dazzling meme captured the viral hive-mind of an overstressed generation: French workers had adopted a new labor policy to ban work-related e-mail after 6 pm. The rule would supposedly force managers of workers in tech and consulting jobs to stop sending e-mails and other business...
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(Courtesy: Institute for Women’s Policy Research) Views
Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 8:00am
Why Do Bosses Want Their Employees’ Salaries to Be Secret?
Asking someone at a party how much they make in a year might get you a weird look. Asking someone about their salary at work might get you fired. Seem unfair? Don’t bother complaining: Washington just once again reaffirmed the boss’s inalienable right to punish workers for talking about whether...
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Second-grade student reads in preparation for a test. (AP Photo/ Jose F. Moreno) Views
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 7:00am
Why Are Teachers and Students Opting Out of Standardized Testing?
After years of drilling, assessing and scoring youth to exhaustion, more than 25,000 kids in New York have defied the educational establishment in a test of wills. The “opt out” movement has exploded in schools across the state and other regions of the country, as students, parents and teachers...
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Press conference held by Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity and the Bangladesh Garments & Industrial Workers Federation in Dhaka (Courtesy: International Labor Rights Forum) Views
Sunday, April 6, 2014 - 9:00am
This Activist Gave His Life to Sound the Alarm on Bangladesh’s Labor Crisis
Sometimes the worst disasters come with warning signs, but we realize them only in retrospect. Months before the historic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 , workers protested oppressive and unsafe working conditions in New York garment factories, but their outcry was continually ignored by...
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Photo: April Moore-Harris/cc/flickr Views
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 8:30am
$2.13 an Hour? Why The Tipped Minimum Wage Has to Go
The person who serves you lunch today may work for a minimum hourly wage that’s less than the price of your coffee. And no matter how generous your tip, at the end of the day, she'll take home much less in wages than what she deserves. Federal law has been exploiting workers like her for years,...
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