David Macaray

David Macaray

David Macaray, a former union rep, is a Los Angeles-based playwright and the author of “It’s Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor” and “Night Shift:  270 Factory Stories.” His latest book is “How to Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows:  Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About India But Were Afraid to Ask.” He can be reached at Dmacaray@gmail.com

Articles by this author

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Friday, December 23, 2011
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
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 09, 2011
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 03, 2011
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
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
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
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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Sunday, May 23, 2010
Labor Protests Calderon’s Visit to Washington
Any questions as to which American president Felipe Calderon most admires were answered last October when he fired 44,000 members of the independent Mexican Electrical Workers Union. First, he refused to negotiate with them, then he fired them. By all indications, the Harvard-educated president of Mexico is an unabashed disciple of Ronald Reagan.
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