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Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

 
Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

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Clear It With Sidney

Fri, Apr 17, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • The New York City Housing Authority is way behind on lead abatement and kids are paying the price. (Hat Tip: Liz)
  • 65% of migrants who died in 2014 drowned in the Mediterranean. How one NGO is trying to save lives at sea.
  • NYU made 10,000 construction workers on its Abu Dhabi campus second-class citizens, denying them wage and hour protections that the rest of NYU's employees enjoy.
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Fri, Apr 10, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • What happens when prisoners get sent home early because of computer glitches? What happens when they have to go back?
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Wed, Apr 8, 2015

We are very pleased to announce that Spencer Woodman has won the April Sidney Award for exposing the outrageous non-compete agreements that Amazon has been enforcing on its temporary warehouse workers. Woodman found that the mega-retailer was forcing workers to sign 18-month non-compete agreements in order to qualify for a 3-month stint in an Amazon warehouse. The language of the non-compete clause is so sweeping that, if it were enforced, it would appear to bar workers from almost any job anywhere in the world, for a period 6 times longer than they actually worked at Amazon. 

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We are very pleased to announce that Spencer Woodman has won the April Sidney Award for exposing the outrageous non-compete agreements that Amazon has been enforcing on its temporary warehouse workers. Woodman found that the mega-retailer was forcing workers to sign 18-month non-compete agreements in order to qualify for a 3-month stint in an Amazon warehouse. The language of the non-compete clause is so sweeping that, if it were enforced, it would appear to bar workers from almost any job anywhere in the world, for a period 6 times longer than they actually worked at Amazon. 

Learn more about Spencer's reporting and Amazon's subsequent promise to stop imposing non-competes on hourly workers in The Backstory

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Fri, Apr 3, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • Texas bill would name judges who authorize abortions for minors.
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Tue, Mar 31, 2015

The Sidney Hillman Foundation is proud to announce that Bryan Stevenson will be the recipient of the inaugural George Barrett Award. This prize goes to an attorney whose work exemplifies the public spirit of the crusading Nashville civil rights attorney George "Citizen" Barrett. 

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The Sidney Hillman Foundation is proud to announce that Bryan Stevenson will be the recipient of the inaugural George Barrett Award. This prize goes to an attorney whose work exemplifies the public spirit of the crusading Nashville civil rights attorney George "Citizen" Barrett. 

Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Based in Alabama, the EJI fights against wrongful convictions, executions, and excessive sentences. Stevenson is the author of the bestselling book, Just Mercy, a memoir about his work as a public interest lawyer. His 2012 TED Talk, "We Need to Talk About Injustice," has been viewed over 2 million times. 

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Fri, Mar 27, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • "We are like a shark": Steelworkers in Ukraine have to keep toiling in a war zone, because if their plant shuts down, it can never re-open.
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Wed, Mar 25, 2015

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire broke out 114 years ago today, on March 25, 1911. One hundred and forty-six garment workers, mostly immigrant women, died in the blaze. The fire became a catalyst for the nascent labor movement. 

Today, Workers United/SEIU, the New York City Fire Department, and city school children, mark the anniversary at the official commemoration ceremony at the cite of the fire.

11:30am-1:00pm, at Washington Place & Greene Street.

 

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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire broke out 114 years ago today, on March 25, 1911. One hundred and forty-six garment workers, mostly immigrant women, died in the blaze. The fire became a catalyst for the nascent labor movement. 

Today, Workers United/SEIU, the New York City Fire Department, and city school children, mark the anniversary at the official commemoration ceremony at the cite of the fire.

11:30am-1:00pm, at Washington Place & Greene Street.

 

 

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Fri, Mar 20, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast has found a new medium for her sardonic images: painted eggs, also known as pysanka.
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Mon, Mar 16, 2015

The Atlanta Journal Constitution won a 2012 Hillman Prize for exposing a massive teacher cheating ring in Atlanta's schools. The scam has been called the largest academic fraud in U.S. history. 

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution won a 2012 Hillman Prize for exposing a massive teacher cheating ring in Atlanta's schools. The scam has been called the largest academic fraud in U.S. history. 

Closing arguments began Monday in the trial of 12 teachers accused of changing answers on standardized test papers to give their students higher scores. Twenty-one of the original 35 defendents struck plea bargains, and 2 others have died. 

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Mon, Mar 16, 2015

The fifth annual Canadian Hillman Prize ceremony was a night to remember. See all our photos from Thursday night's event at the Drake Hotel in Toronto.

These awards honor excellence in socially conscious Canadian journalism, with a special emphasis on reporting that brings about change for the common good.

 

 

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The fifth annual Canadian Hillman Prize ceremony was a night to remember. See all our photos from Thursday night's event at the Drake Hotel in Toronto.

These awards honor excellence in socially conscious Canadian journalism, with a special emphasis on reporting that brings about change for the common good.

 

 

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