Michelle Chen

Michelle Chen is a contributing editor at In These Times. She is a regular contributor to the labor rights blog Working In These Times, Colorlines.com, and Pacifica's WBAI. Her work has also appeared in Common Dreams, Alternet, Ms. Magazine, Newsday, and her old zine, cain.

Articles by this author

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Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 10:15am
LA’s Minimum Wage Workers Just Won $15 an Hour—How Many Will Actually Be Paid That?
Nearly half of Los Angeles just gave itself a raise. Following a wave of state and local minimum-wage bills and initiatives, Los Angeles became one of the largest cities to dramatically raise its hourly base pay and join Seattle to hit the magic $15-an-hour demand pushed by labor and community...
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Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 2:30pm
EU Officials Are Considering Bombing Libyan Smuggling Boats. That’s the Last Thing Refugees Need.
Just days after European Union ministers floated a proposal to rescue African migrants on the Mediterranean, the plan is already sinking amid a political impasse on the question of “sharing the burden” of the crisis. Meanwhile, thousands are facing death and torture on the perilous trail to...
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Friday, May 1, 2015 - 2:30pm
Baltimore’s Inescapable Inequality
Freddie Gray died after he tried to run from the police. Some might think he was wrong for provoking a chase, but the thousands of people now protesting across the country know that getting killed as a consequence of running away is like getting killed for trying to breathe: you can’t be blamed for...
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Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 2:30pm
What You Should Know About Walmart’s Raise
Remember when Walmart got panned for running a Thanksgiving food drive for its own employees—overlooking the irony of demonstrating noblesse oblige by asking customers to subsidize the workers the company itself impoverished? The retail giant took a more strategic approach last week when rolling...
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Monday, December 1, 2014 - 8:30pm
World AIDS Day: The Journey Ahead
The AIDS crisis was the first true epidemic of the era of globalization. Its rapid and devastating spread blasted through borders and stoked worldwide panic, in part because it seemed relatively democratic in its choice of victims, rich and poor alike. As the crisis “went viral” in a pre-Internet...
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Friday, November 28, 2014 - 8:30am
This Is Black Friday in Bangladesh
Walmart marks the holiday season this Friday with deals on its Faded Glory women’s sweaters. But this time of year marks a different occasion in another corner of Walmart’s empire: In Bangladesh, survivors and families remember the second anniversary of a massive fire at the Tazreen factory on the...
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Friday, November 21, 2014 - 3:15pm
What Will Happen to the Immigrants Left Out of Obama’s Executive Actions?
In his speech last night announcing his latest executive action on immigration policy, President Obama took great pains to tell the country what his new immigration policy is not: it is not “amnesty,” just a way for people to avoid deportation; it is not citizenship, just work authorization; it won...
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Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 10:30am
How a Fatal Disaster at Mt. Everest Has Turned Into a Full-Blown Labor Struggle
Mount Everest is known as a place that defies gravity, but it’s also a place for upturning social order. To the climber, it’s the pinnacle of a glorious trekking experience. To the anonymous laborer who supports the Westerners’ ascent, it’s a precarious front in a Global South class struggle.
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Volunteers construct an environmentally friendly home for Central Valley Habitat for Humanity. (AP Photo/The Daily News-Record, Nikki Fox) Views
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 8:00am
Where Have All the Green Jobs Gone?
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is in, reminding us once again that time is running out for governments and industry to decarbonize the economy : Within a generation, policymakers must tighten emissions regulations, shift to clean energy sources, promote greener...
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French workers take part in a demonstration over labor reforms in Toulouse. (Reuters/Jean-Philippe Arles) Views
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 6:30am
What the French E-mail Meme Reveals About America’s Runaway Culture of Work
Last week, a dazzling meme captured the viral hive-mind of an overstressed generation: French workers had adopted a new labor policy to ban work-related e-mail after 6 pm. The rule would supposedly force managers of workers in tech and consulting jobs to stop sending e-mails and other business...
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