Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2017-12-18T08:46:21-05:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Lowest Ever Black Jobless Rate Is Still Twice That of Whites | The New York Times

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Mar 19, 2018 03:11 PM
"A tight labor market alone can’t undo a legacy of unequal school funding, residential segregation or the disproportionate rate of incarceration for black Americans. Nor can it reverse the gradual shift of well-paying jobs from inner cities to mostly white suburbs. Studies have found that discrimination in hiring and pay persists even in good economic times, making parity an elusive goal. ... The black unemployment rate there went from 23.5 percent in 2011 to 7.5 percent last month but remained at more than twice the rate for whites. ... Nationwide, the typical annual pay for a black person working full time was just under $40,000 in 2016, compared with $52,000 for a white worker. No amount of education alters the imbalance. Black workers with a high school diploma take home 22 percent less than whites with the same credential. Those with graduate degrees fall nearly as far behind their white peers."

Why Are Prime-Age Men Vanishing from the Labor Force? | Kansas City Federal Reserve

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Mar 19, 2018 03:04 PM
"[A] decline in the demand for middle-skill workers accounts for most of the decline in participation among prime-age men. In addition, I find that the decline in participation is unlikely to reverse if current conditions hold ... Skills demanded in the labor market are rapidly changing, and automation has rendered the skills of many less-educated workers obsolete. This lack of job opportunities, in turn, may lead to depression and illness among displaced workers, and these health conditions may become further barriers to their employment. Ending this vicious cycle—and avoiding further increases in the nonparticipation rate among prime-age men—may require equipping workers with the new skills employers are demanding in the face of rapid technological advancements"

Carleton University workers striking to protect their pensions | Rick Telfer @rankandfileca

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Mar 19, 2018 11:17 AM
On March 6, the day after the strike began, the university administration posted a memorandum addressed to CUPE 2424 members to its website accompanied by a video in which Alastair Summerlee, the interim president of the university, stated that “the university remains absolutely committed to reaching a negotiated settlement with the union.” According to Summerlee, the key issues in the negotiations relate to pension governance. Specifically, he said that “the union is asking for direct involvement in the design of the pension plan, the composition of the pension plan committee, and how voting on the committee would work.”

WestJet flight attendants claim they're paid less than minimum wage | CBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Mar 16, 2018 10:53 AM
"The way WestJet pays its flight attendants could be in violation of federal labour rules, which stipulate that on-call workers who are asked to report to work must be paid for a minimum of three hours. ... The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said it is looking into whether federal labour rules are being broken. "That's a possibility and something we're exploring," said David Fleming, a CUPE representative who has been working for about a year to unionize WestJet flight attendants."

50 years ago, US troops massacred more than 500 civilians in Vietnam during the My Lai massacre | Reuters

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Mar 16, 2018 10:41 AM
"Vietnam marked 50 years since the My Lai massacre on Friday in a memorial ceremony at the site of the killings that was attended by survivors of the massacre, their families, and around 60 U.S. Vietnam War veterans and anti-war activists. American soldiers killed 504 people on March 16, 1968, in Son My, a collection of hamlets between the central Vietnamese coast and a ridge of misty mountains, in an incident known in the West as the My Lai Massacre."

Canada on wrong side of Venezuelan conflict | The Toronto Star

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Mar 16, 2018 10:27 AM
"Anyone following the international media coverage would conclude that the Venezuelan government is terribly autocratic and that Western nations, led by the U.S., have stepped in with sanctions out of concern over human rights abuses there. A closer look suggests a different scenario that puts Western actions in a less laudable light: Washington is waging economic war against a nation that dared to rise up and reject U.S. control over its ample oil reserves. The Obama administration targeted individual Venezuelans with sanctions, but the Trump administration’s sanctions are much broader, taking punishing aim at the country’s entire economy. ... Our sanctions aren’t as broad as Trump’s, but they lend Canadian credibility to penalizing Venezuela, thereby providing political cover for the harsh U.S. measures."

Jagmeet Singh: I will never ignore the pain that lingers in the Sikh community | The Globe and Mail

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Mar 15, 2018 07:23 PM
"[I]n 1984, the Golden Temple – the most revered Sikh place of prayer –was demolished. Those who had taken up arms to defend it, along with thousands of innocent civilians, were killed. Months later, the Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards. As collective punishment, state elements targeted and murdered thousands of Sikhs, constituting a genocide. Tens of thousands more disappeared in the following months and years. The deaths and disappearances had a devastating effect on Sikhs in India and those forced to flee. Many, including my parents, saw Canada as a beacon during these times. ... Sadly, the pain and trauma of violence cannot be left behind in the country of origin. It was brought with them to Canada, as it affected the victims to their core. That trauma is often passed down through generations."

Dylann Roof’s Sister Arrested After Bringing Weapons to School Walkout | The New York Times

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Mar 15, 2018 05:42 PM
"Ms. Roof’s Snapchat post criticized students who planned to walk out of class to protest gun violence. “I hope it’s a trap and y’all get shot,” it said. “We know it’s fixing to be nothing but black people walkin out anyway.” ... Mr. Roof killed the parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in June 2015. The avowed white supremacist opened fire during a Bible study gathering in a long-planned assault. He was found guilty in 2016 of all 33 federal counts against him and has been sentenced to death."
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