Kalena Thomhave

Kalena Thomhave is a writing fellow at the Prospect.

Follow @kalenasthom

Recent Articles

Building Worker Solidarity Across Borders

An American company is busting a call center workers’ union in the Philippines, so the U.S. union of call center workers is helping them out.

Mayday Productions BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) activists rally in Manila on November 30, 2018, for better working conditions in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. (November 30, the anniversary of the birth of Andrés Bonifacio, a leader of the Philippine revolution against Spanish colonization, is traditionally a day for protests.) I f you make a call to a customer service agency, say, because you’re having problems with your service provider—Comcast, perhaps, or AT&T—there’s a good chance you’ll be connected to a call center worker in the Philippines. You might not realize the worker is in the Philippines, and you likely don’t know that the Philippines has the largest number of call centers in the world, having taken the mantle from India in 2011. There are actually more than one million call center workers in the Philippines, whose jobs exist because of a complicated web of global outsourcing and offshoring which benefits the bottom lines of multinational...

February Food Stamps Are Here Early—That’s Good News and Bad News

It’s not clear that anything is coming any time soon after that. 

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty A sign advertises a program that allows food stamp recipients to use their EBT cards to shop at a farmer's market in Topsham, Maine. T he effects of the government shutdown are spreading to affect people beyond the federal workers and contractors who have not been paid for nearly a month. Recently, there was serious concern that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps) benefits wouldn’t be issued for the month of February if the shutdown continued. Some governmental tinkering with appropriation funds has seemed to solve this problem, and most people who receive SNAP across the country received their February benefits early—around January 20. A sigh of relief. “Our motto here at USDA has been to ‘Do Right and Feed Everyone.’ With this solution, we’ve got the ‘Feed Everyone’ part handled,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement . Yet, though people will be able to access their February benefits, there is...

Why Scott Walker’s Welfare Legacy Will Outlast Him

Although Walker was ousted from the governorship by progressive Tony Evers, the state legislature has ensured that Wisconsin will remain a model for abusing the poor.

Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File Former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker arrives to deliver his state of the state address at the Capitol in Madison. D emocrat Tony Evers was sworn in as the new governor of Wisconsin last week, after he bested Republican incumbent Scott Walker in November’s election. But thanks to an extraordinary session of Wisconsin’s lame-duck Republican legislature last month, Evers will likely have his hands tied if he’d like to pull back some of Walker’s most pernicious reforms, those targeting low-income people and their benefits, such as food assistance and health coverage. Preserving Walker’s welfare legacy was a priority when the state legislature met in early December. As the media widely reported, legislators quickly voted to limit the power of the newly Democratic executive branch, but the details of these post-election laws signed by Walker foretell a difficult future for public assistance programs in the state. In consequence, Wisconsin,...

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