Joe Kenehan Center

Thursday, December 12, 2002
Voting on the Docks

A fairly good overview of the situation in the West Coast ports from the LA Weekly. The ILWU membership is currently debating whether to accept their tentative contract agreement. (The piece is weakened, however, by a few glaring factual clunkers -- founding ILWU president Harry Bridges joined the Industrial Workers of the World as a young man, not the International Workers of the World, and AFL-CIO president John Sweeney came out of SEIU, not AFSMCE.)

The Health Care Enron

This Los Angeles Times article takes a look at a the internal culture at Tenet, a for-profit health care corporation that was touted as a revolutionary innovator in health care much the same way Enron supposedly remade the energy industry. Tenet is facing a growing fraud scandal. The story details a go-go money culture--the company’s CEO cashed in $110 million in stock options last year--that induced Tenet managers to cut corners. But hey, these are just hospitals -- it's only people's lives that are at stake, right?

Acceptable Class Warfare

Don’t miss Nathan Newman on the kind of class warfare conservatives love to wage -- attacks on those American union members who still have good wages, secure health care, and a decent retirement.

Monday, December 09, 2002
Steve Earle: Union Yes

Steve Earle, during his set opening for Pearl Jam last night, remembered that the survival of the Quecreek Mine Nine was the just about the best news of the past year. Everybody agrees about that.

Refreshingly, Earle went on introduce “Harlan Man” by pointing out that that without previous sacrifices by union miners, none of the safety procedures that saved those men’s lives would have been in place.

More Ideas for a New Union Movement

Tom Geoghegan and Barbara Ehrenreich team up to offer more suggestions for reviving American unions, including a variation on the “open membership” model that a lot of people are talking about but to my knowledge nobody is really putting into action.

Other Union News . . .

John Judis on Bush and the Carpenters

ABC News on unions and the future of the Democrats.

Gram’s Ghost

Here’s a nice New York Times piece on the continuing intense interest in Gram Parsons and his short life. Two major G.P. movies are in the works, including a Keith Richards-produced project based on Ben Fong-Torre’s biography.