Tough Times

These are not good times for working people. As real incomes decline throughout the Americas and decent jobs become harder to find—even during the region's much-heralded periods of prosperity—a demoralization has set in. There has been a palpable diminution of working-class solidarity, and a breakdown of belief in the efficacy of any sort of collective struggle. The scarcity of adequate employment has produced what Carlos Vilas, in this NACLA Report on labor, calls "a war of all against all for a job." The region's once-proud labor movements have fallen on hard times. Nonetheless, there is a new attitude and understanding within the region's labor movements that a global system of production requires the global defense of labor.