Wednesday, December 18, 2019

let's thank a new generation of workplace organizers

Journalist, activist, artist and author David Bacon's latest book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration (Beacon Press).  This is his 

David Bacon Fotografias y Historias
By David Bacon,
Truthout, December 17, 2019

Security guards, employed by a contractor at the Google Mountain View campus, demonstrate for their right to have a union. Many Google workers supported their demonstrations.David Bacon

Thanks to Stanford University's Special Collections, which now cares for the photo archive from which these photographs are drawn.

The progressive movement in this country owes thanks to the new generation of workplace organizers, who are carrying our movement forward. Among them are four activists we should recognize and support: Laurence Berland, Rebecca Rivers, Paul Duke and Sophie Waldman, who were fired from Google for organizing their fellow workers.

Workers at Google have been protesting many of the company’s actions over the last two years. A year ago, Google’s decision to pay a reported $90 million in severance to a manager accused of sexual harassment sparked a walkout by an estimated 20,000 employees worldwide. Petitions and rallies at its Mountain View, California, headquarters, protesting other company actions, have followed. With the firings, Google has finally sought to eliminate those workers it thinks responsible for this upsurge.

The four fired employees filed a formal complaint against Google with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), saying they were fired for collective activity, which is protected, at least in theory, under federal law. The Board is investigating the charges. Google says it would never retaliate against workers for such activity — a boilerplate denial that comes from every employer charged with violating Federal labor law. The company insists they were fired for accessing information that is readily available to employees on the company database.

What did the four really do? They tried to put human rights into action inside the company. They protested sexual harassment. They told Google not to bid on a Trump contract to put the Homeland Security database into the cloud, facilitating the shameful detention of children and parents. They questioned Google for hiring Miles Taylor, who was chief of staff to Trump’s Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Google’s activists sought to give voice in the company to their outrage over the detention of migrants, joining millions of people in the outside world, like these marchers in Oakland.  David Bacon

What did Google say their crime was? Making sensitive information public. CEO Sundar Pichai, whose salary in 2016 was almost $200 million, told an “all hands” meeting (a Google term for a meeting for a large number of employees) that “you’ve clearly seen the amount of leaks we are seeing.” The four fired workers were Google’s own Chelsea Mannings and Julian Assanges. When company managers questioned Rivers, the contract with DHS is what they asked about.

So, of course, Google did what the government does to whistleblowers — what union organizers call “corporate capital punishment.” It fired them. Everyone at Google knows what the real reason was.  They were organizing their fellow workers inside the company. That made Google afraid.

[. . .]

hotel workers fight for the right to live in the world's most expensive city

City College of San Francisco Journalism and Labor Studies Departments
and Front Page Gallery present
30 years of photographs by David Bacon
documenting San Francisco hotel workers

November 22 to December 20, 2019, M-F 11-5
reception and book signing Friday, November 22, 6-9 PM

Front Page Gallery
50 Frida Kahlo Way, Bungalow 615 (below George M. Rush Stadium)
San Francisco, CA     415-239-3446


Exhibition Schedule
Exhibitions of photographs are scheduled for the following venues and dates:

In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte
Scheduled exhibitions:

September 1, 2019 - December 22, 2019
Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Yucca Valley
January 5, 2020 - March 1, 2020
Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County, Yuba City
March 15, 2020 - June 21, 2020
Los Altos History Museum, Los Altos
March 21, 2021 - May 23, 2021
Carnegie Arts Center, Turlock

One Job Should be Enough
Scheduled exhibition:

November 22 2019 - December 20, 2019
Front Page Gallery, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

In Washington’s Fields
Scheduled exhibition:

February 5, 2020 - July 15, 2020
Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, WA

More Than a Wall - The Social Movements of the Border
Scheduled exhibition:

August 29,, 2020 - November 29,, 2020
San Francisco Public Library

Scheduled exhibition:

April 10, 2020 - May 1, 2020
Uri-Eichen Gallery, Chicago IL

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte
Photographs and text by David Bacon
University of California Press / Colegio de la Frontera Norte

302 photographs, 450pp, 9”x9”
paperback, $34.95 (in the U.S.)

order the book on the UC Press website:
use source code  16M4197  at checkoutreceive a 30% discount

En Mexico se puede pedir el libro en el sitio de COLEF:

Los Angeles Times reviews In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte - click here

En los campos del Norte documenta la vida de trabajadores agrícolas en Estados Unidos -
Entrevista con el Instituto Nacional de la Antropologia y Historia

Entrevista en la television de UNAM

David Bacon comparte su mirada del trabajo agrícola de migrantes mexicanos en el Museo Archivo de la Fotografia

Trabajo agrícola, migración y resistencia cultural: el mosaico de los “Campos del Norte”
Entrevista de David Bacon por Iván Gutiérrez / A los 4 Vientos

"Los fotógrafos tomamos partido"
Entrevista por Melina Balcázar Moreno - Laberinto

Das Leben der Arbeiterschaft auf Ölplattformen des Irak

Die Kunst der Grenze für "eine andere Welt"

Die Apfel-Pflücker aus dem Yakima-Tal


"Documenting the Farm Worker Rebellion"
"The Radical Resistance to Immigration Enforcement"
Havens Center lectures, University of Wisconsin, click here

San Francisco Commonweallth Club presentation by David Bacon and Jose Padilla, click here

EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE:  Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall
Entrevista sobre la exhibicion con Alfonso Caraveo (Español) REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog

Cat Brooks interview on KPFA about In the Fields of the North  - Advance the time to 33:15

Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center

Other Books by David Bacon

The Right to Stay Home:  How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration  (Beacon Press, 2013)
Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants  (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)

The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

En Español:

EL DERECHO A QUEDARSE EN CASA  (Critica - Planeta de Libros)


For more articles and images, see and