MR Daily Review
June 29th 2022
1. Supreme Court further erodes tribal sovereignty in Oklahoma v Castro-Huerta.
A few years ago the Supreme Court released a landmark decision in McGirt that upheld tribal sovereignty in the face of Oklahoma law. Today in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta the Supreme Court overturned that precedent and held that Oklahoma tribes are subject to Oklahoma criminal law. This further erodes tribal sovereignty which was tenuous at best in a lot of areas to begin with. Indigenous people have fought tirelessly for what little rights the law does afford tribes and tribal members, but the reactionary Supreme Court has struck those rights a massive blow.
2. Texas attorney general says he would defend sodomy law if 2003 ruling legalizing same sex relationships is revisited.
Clarence Thomas’s concurrence in Dobbs made it clear he at least is interested in overturning other substantive due process (privacy) rights. Including the right to same sex intercourse established in Lawrence v. Texas. That is a 2003 case that struck down Texas’s sodomy laws. Take a minute to appreciate that didn’t happen until 2003. Then take another moment to appreciate that Texas’s attorney general Ken Paxton said he would fight to reinstate the law and defend sodomy laws if given the chance. This makes it clear if it wasn’t already the Republicans plan on making the most of Thomas’s concurrence and none of those rights listed above are fully protected.
3. Union reaches deal with AT&T to raise base wages for workers in 36 states.
The Communication Workers of America representing over 13,000 AT&T employees struck an agreement raising wages for workers in 36 states by 15%. The raise is supposed to cover inflation and account for “post-COVID” productivity gains. The raise also shows the power of a union as many workers are settled to force with raises barely meeting the rate of inflation or no raise at all.
4. Polling shows people in the U.K. support major railway strike, despite negative press.
The business press worked overtime in the U.K. to demonize over 40,000 railway workers who were on strike for better pay and working conditions. Numerous stories lamented the cost this strike must have on would be passengers and freight. The coverage enters a long tradition of covering strikes as though they were natural disasters with only negative consequences, instead of a manifestation of worker power attempting to take what is owed. But nearly a majority of UK citizens and counting appreciate that and view the strike favorably.
5. Kentucky Amazon workers begin to organize a union.
Amazon workers around the country noticed what happened in New York City. In fact organizers with the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) say they were contacted by workers in every state and internationally. These workers are just part of a growing tide of union organizing as workers are standing up to say they won’t take poor working conditions and lower wages anymore. The organizing efforts are detailing in this piece by Alex Press writing in Jacobin. It’s worth a read just to have a better sense of what workers are up against and the on the ground conditions driving these unionization efforts.