This Week in Labour News (2/16/19)

Feel free to leave OT links and music in the comments below.

Guatemala: Union leaders imprisoned for having negotiated a collective agreement

“Guatemala has been going through an institutional crisis in recent months that has now become more acute. The Jimmy Morales government has systematically increased the persecution of community leaders, activists, journalists and trade unionists.”

Amnesty International, unions protest latest persecution of labour rights activists in Iran

“UK and international trade unions joined Amnesty International UK for a demonstration at the Iranian embassy in London on January 29 to demand freedom for two imprisoned labour rights activists. Esmail Bakhshi, who works at the Haft Tapeh sugar complex in Shush, and Sepideh Gholian were arrested in November after having taken part in protests to demand payment of wage arrears owed the Haft Tapeh workers over many months.”

‘Eugene V. Debs’ Resurrects A Stubborn Question: Why Is Labor History So Boring?

“Why is labor history so boring? Left-leaning intellectuals have worried at this question for decades. Back in 1983, Irving Howe suggested that the field’s notorious leadenness stems from a deep-seated attraction to ideas over people. “The Marxist mind finds itself drawn, with an almost punitive willfulness, to such abstractions as ‘social forces,’ ‘political positions,’ and ‘relations of production,'” he wrote in a New York Review of Books piece about turn-of-the-century labor leader Eugene V. Debs. “Before these formidable categories, the actual figures of history tend to fade.” Fortuitously, Howe added, a new wave of historians was striving to inject some life into the genre.”