A Real American Workplace

After studying corporate downsizing, a government staff sees it up close.

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When describing his pet project, the Office of the American Workplace, Labor Secretary Robert Reich promised in 1993 that it would guide a worried public through the job market’s turbulent seas. “The workplace is a win-win or a lose-lose situation,” he said. “We all win or we all lose together.”

Let’s hope he’s wrong. It turns out not even the folks at the Office of the American Workplace are safe. All 50 OAW staffers–who studied workplace conditions, strike prevention, and worker-friendly options to corporate downsizing–are likely to join the cruel job market they know all too well.

The GOP tanked the OAW’s $7 million budget after President Clinton made the agency responsible for monitoring federal contracts and canceling those with companies that use scabs. Apparently, Clinton gave OAW the new responsibility as a boon to unions after he failed to pass an anti-strike replacement bill.

OAW staff members, meanwhile, await word on their future. “The Labor Department and the union haven’t worked out what will happen,” says one ex-staffer.

Who should these latest victims of downsizing go to for advice? No one’s quite sure. In the past, they could always turn to the Office of the American Workplace.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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