In the News

If you want to understand how privatization of public services typically works, Grand Rapids, Michigan is as good a place as any to start.

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“Working moms” employed by the world's biggest retailer, Walmart, have walked off their jobs in a number of cities across the United States. Union organizers said employees walked picket lines Wednesday throughout the day in 20 cities including Tampa, Miami, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

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All across the country, public services are increasingly outsourced to private contractors in the name of efficiency and cost savings. But a new report from the non-profit research group In the Public Interest (ITPI) shows that outsourcing public services hurts middle and working class communities as well as workers.

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A Capitol Hill veteran who was recently appointed as majority staff director for the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Philip Kiko, has lobbied on behalf of far-left groups heavily tied to and financed by George Soros.

A significant portion of the lobby activities focused on opposing Voter ID laws, which would have required voters to bring photo identification to the voting booths.

Kiko would not be the first Soros-tied investigator in a government probe of the Benghazi attack.

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You’ve probably heard by now that a stunning 95 percent of the gains the United States economy has made in the years since the Great Recession have gone to the top 1 percent.

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Under the banner of "Walmart moms," mothers who work at Walmart launched strikes in 20 cities across the United States on Wednesday to protest what they say are poverty wages and routine policies of retaliation against workers who organize. From Chicago to Pittsburgh to Miami, the mass actions were part of rolling strikes launched last Friday by Our Walmart members.

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In the coming days, you will be hearing a lot about working women. Not the women leaning in, not the women opting out, but the working women living in or near poverty.

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Walmart workers speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas, on Friday said the megastore’s staffing problems and poor pay were hurting the company’s image and contributing to lagging sales.

Their statement comes after a week of rallies across the country by labor activists, union representatives and workers in cities such as Chicago; Dayton, Ohio; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The demonstrators have taken aim at the plight of the company’s low-wage employees and the burden they say Walmart’s staffing policies place on working mothers.

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Walmart, the world's largest retailer (and America's largest private employer), occupies a rather strange place in the business landscape: a technologically innovative company with a down-home reputation – a low-wage, low-benefit employer that prides itself on a family atmosphere. Walmart masks the lousy working conditions that make its profits with its particular form of market populism: millions of "Walmart moms" can't be wrong for wanting to "save money, live better", can they?

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Walmart's top brass and its shareholders face a confrontation with their "moms" at the company's annual shareholders meeting Friday in Fayetteville, Ark. That is, the "Walmart Moms" who are demanding higher wages from the nation's biggest employer. The labor union-supported workers' group is demanding a pay increase to $12.25 an hour, or $25,000 a year for full-time work. Organizers said that workers would picket on Wednesday outside stores in cities including Chicago, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Tampa.

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