Labor Day: Why Unions Still Matter
Bill Nye on Scientific Literacy

David Bacon: A Year in Labor Stories

David Bacon is a writer and photojournalist based in Oakland and Berkeley, California. He is the author of Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrantsand his new bookbook about migration and work will be published by Beacon Press in 2013. 

Bacon writes about labor, immigration, and international politics for The Nation, In These Times, American Prospect, TruthOut, among other publications, and he regularly appears on KPFA and KQED radio. The East Bay Express described his work: "As the US labor movement has come under near constant attack in recent years, the Oakland journalist is one of the last of his breed in the country." 

For Labor Day, we've collected some of Bacon's stories about labor as a snapshot of a year in workers' rights. 

All photos copyright David Bacon, used by permission of the author.



UpFront on KPFA: (August 22) David Bacon interviews a house cleaner about California's Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights (which passed the California Assembly this past week). Interview starts at 18:15.

UpFront - Drones, Castlewood, Vote Suppression - August 22, 2012 at 7:00am

Click to listen (or download)



"In early April, an anti-immigrant bill like those that swept through legislatures in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina was stopped cold in Mississippi." How Mississippi's Black/Brown Strategy Beat the South's Anti-Immigrant Wave The Nation, April 20.


"Employers say they’re 'independent contractors.' Drivers call that a legal trick to deny them their rights–a nice-sounding label obscuring an ugly reality." Seattle Port Strike Challenges "Independent Contractor" Lie In These Times, February 21.


"Migrant rights activists, artisans and public officials spoke about the important role migration continues to play in Oaxaca's economic, social, political and family life. The state in southern Mexico is the source of one of the largest waves of migration from Mexico to the United States." "Oaxaca's New Government Calls for Migrant Rights," TruthOut, January 5.


"A bruising 16-year battle, the fight brought together African American, white, and Mexican immigrant workers, who were able to find common ground despite the company’s attempts to use racial division and immigration enforcement to try to defeat them." "Common Ground on the Kill Floor: Organizing Smithfield," Labor Notes, April 20.