Steven Greenhouse

Steven Greenhouse was a New York Times reporter for 31 years, including 19 as its labor and workplace reporter. He is author of Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, to be published by Knopf in August. 

Recent Articles

How the Public Employee Unions Refused to Die

Confronted with a Supreme Court ruling designed to hobble them, the nation’s public-sector unions have increased in size and grown more militant.

Teachers from across Kentucky gather inside the State Capitol during a rally for increased education funding in Frankfort. W hen the Supreme Court ruled last June in the Janus case that government employees can’t be required to pay any fees to the unions that bargain for them, the common wisdom was the nation’s public-sector unions would be thrown hugely on the defensive. Evidently, the leaders of those unions didn’t get the message. To the contrary, they have gone on the offensive. As leaders from the nation’s four largest public-sector unions made clear at a forum last weekend in Washington, not only are their unions seeking to staunch the loss of fee-payers, they’re pushing mightily to add members. Saying that Janus was just one step in a 40-year assault on unions, Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said, “One of the most important things, if not the most important thing we should be working toward, is organizing workers. ... That has to...

SeaWorld's and Kavanaugh’s Missing Empathy Gene

The Supreme Court nominee showed more concern for overregulation than worker safety in a U.S. Court of Appeals case involving the death of a whale trainer.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, listens to a question on the third day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill W hile the nation focuses on Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, let’s not forget his judicial record. Kavanugh’s opinion in a case involving a SeaWorld employee whom an orca whale pulled into the water and killed is a remarkable document. It’s remarkable because Kavanaugh shows far less sympathy to the whale trainer who was dismembered and killed than he shows to SeaWorld for being the victim of what he sees as government overregulation and overreach. While we’ve heard much about Kavanaugh being a nice guy who coaches a girls’ basketball team, he, at least in his SeaWorld opinion, seemed to lack an empathy gene. Kavanaugh was so fixated on a subject that preoccupies him—government regulation (or should we say overregulation)—that he hardly focused on the...

What Does the Tax Bill Do for Low-Income Workers?

Basically, nothing. But will that be sufficient to peel away voters?

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during a news conference in the Capitol where GOP senators said families and small businesses would benefit from tax reform. Appearing behind him are, from left, Senators Mike Rounds, Thom Tillis, David Perdue, John Barrasso, and Steve Daines. I magine a low-wage worker, perhaps one who voted for Donald Trump. This worker is getting nothing from the huge Trump-GOP tax plan. This worker won’t benefit from phasing out the estate tax. Nor will this worker gain from eliminating the Alternate Minimum Tax or from reducing the business pass-through tax from 39.6 percent to 25 percent. And because working class people can’t afford to invest in stocks or mutual funds, they won’t be among the lucky folks who receive bigger dividend checks after the corporate income tax is cut from 35 percent to 20 percent. This worker toils hard day after day, juggling two kids and a job that pays just above the minimum wage. She...

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