Laboring for You: The Best of ToM’s Labor

“Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend, everybody wants a little romance,” yacht rock specialists Loverboy sang in their 1981 classic. “Everybody’s goin’ off the deep end, everybody needs a second chance.  “Working for the Weekend” remains a staple among AOR afficiandos. Unsurprisingly, labor might have been central to the Loverboy lifestyle, but only as a means to an end. “Everyone’s hoping it’ll all work out, everyone’s waiting they’re holding out.” Sure they rhymed “out” with “out” and “start” with “start” but hey didn’t they say they were only working for the weekend? Today we work more and more for what seems like less and less. Undoubtedly, most of you spent the week in the run up to Friday, thinking about grilling on the bar-b-que, knocking back a few, and perhaps catching up on Netflix series like The Get Down or this summer’s surprise hit, the distilled 1980s tonic water, Stranger Things.

We here at ToM however, are neurotic enough labor over your labor so you don’t have to. Consider us  your “labor whisperer” (don’t worry its unionized work). Over the years, our writers have penned a number of pieces on the modern economy and the work we all put into to it. So to celebrate sunshine, bar-b-que and a much needed day of rest, we offer some of our top work on work. Happy Labor Day 2016!”

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Good ol’ Alma Mater got laid off

The Triumph of the TA Graduate Students and the Future of Post Industrial Labor: Recently, the NLRB ruled in favor of Columbia’s graduate students unionizing; ASC on why this matters more than you think: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/the-triumph-of-the-ta-graduate-students-and-the-future-of-postindustrial-labor/

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Yellow Peril in a Globalized Tijuana: The Dog Meat Incident, NAFTA, and Chinese Immigrant Labor: We live in a transnational world where labor, culture, and capital flow across borders; Jael Vizcarra on one recent incident that encapsulates the complexities of our international reality: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/yellow-peril-in-a-globalized-tijuana-the-dog-meat-incident-nafta-and-chinese-immigrant-labor/

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The Valley Paradox: Gentlemen Farming, and Immigrant Labor in the Creation of the San Fernando Valley: You might know the San Fernando Valley as the one time home to shopping malls and the iconic suburban dream, but it was once largely agricultural and built on the labor of immigrants: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/the-valley-paradox-gentlemen-farming-and-immigrant-labor-in-the-creation-of-san-fernando-valley/

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 11: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a political rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. Trump spoke about illegal immigration and other topics in front of an estimated crowd of 4,200. (Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images)

PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 11: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a political rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. Trump spoke about illegal immigration and other topics in front of an estimated crowd of 4,200. (Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images)

Donald Trump and America’s Latino Problem: Oranges, Immigration, and Labor in Southern California: Why the Donald’s vision of immigration conflicts with the California reality; if not for migrant labor from Mexico and elsewhere, the Golden State might not be so golden: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/donald-trumps-and-americas-latino-problem-oranges-immigration-and-labor-in-southern-california/

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The Tragicomedy of Post Industrial Labor: And you thought that “The Office” was just funny; little did you know it was also a metaphor for the knowledge economy and the new ways our labor is valued (and not valued) in the post industrial age: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/the-tragicomedy-of-postindustrial-labor/

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Domestic Art: Nannies, Immigration, and Labor: Artist Ramiro Gomez Jr. has recently hit the big time; in this early piece Caribbean Fragoza and Romeo Guzman dig into Gomez’s groundbreaking work and the way the artist gives visibility to some of the nation’s most marginalized and invisible workers: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/domestic-art-nannies-immigrants-and-labor/

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Working to Play; Playing to Work: Mexican American Baseball and Labor in Southern California: Baseball among early 20th century Mexican and Mexican American workers not only provided recreation but also served as means to organize their communities both culturally and economically: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/working-to-play-playing-to-work-mexican-american-baseball-and-labor-in-southern-california/

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Los Angeles Black Worker Center Pushes for Inclusion: RR examines the history of Black labor in the Southland and recent efforts by the Los Angeles Black Workers Center to improve opportunities: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/los-angeles-black-worker-center-pushes-for-inclusion/

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The El Monte Berry Strike of 1933: In 1933, residents of Hicks Camp in El Monte demanded better wages, hours, and working conditions thereby sparking a larger strike in SoCal’s berry picking industry. Daniel Morales on the El Monte Berry Strike of 1933: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/the-el-monte-berry-strike-of-1933/

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