Convincing Biden Victory in South Carolina: Warren's My Guy, But I Will Happily Work Very, Very Hard for Biden...

You should read this book: Zephyr Teachout: Review of Steven Greenhouse: The Upheaval in the American Workplaces https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/books/review/beaten-down-worked-up-steven-greenhouse.html: 'There’s an enormous upheaval in the American workplace right now.... “Beaten Down, Worked Up” [is] the engrossing, character-driven, panoramic new book on the past and present of worker organizing by the former New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse. At the beginning of this decade, less than 7 percent of private-sector workers belonged to a union, and support for organized labor unions was at an all-time low. Corporations were using illegal tactics to stop unionization, tactics unheard-of in other countries, and new hires at the biggest companies were often required to watch anti-labor propaganda depicting unions as greedy and self-interested...

...The “Fight for $15” was born, leading to huge rallies and predawn fast-food walkouts across the country. The workers lacked union protection, and big corporations shelled out cash telling lawmakers that raising the wage would cause small businesses to collapse and result in economic disaster. Nonetheless, the workers won. A wave of minimum wage raises passed. In New York, the rate hit the magic number of $15 an hour. Those 2012 meetings and the Fight for $15 almost didn’t happen; this was not the kind of organizing work that labor unions like S.E.I.U. had been doing for decades. This required unions to spend money on organizing people who would most likely never pay dues. You’ll have to read Greenhouse’s book to learn why the union did it, and how a $50 million failure by one of the country’s biggest unions led to one of its greatest recent successes.... With the breaking of the air traffic controllers’ strike in 1981, the Reagan years are generally understood as the tipping point in labor history. It would be tempting to write about that strike through the lens of Reagan’s ideology alone or, alternatively, to blame the strikers for their defeat. But Greenhouse gives the events leading up to the strike the respect and context they deserve, making it possible even for a reader who knows exactly how it turns out to hope that things might go differently, because the world from inside the minds of the strikers seems so coherent.... Greenhouse may be a great advocate for unions, but he has no patience for union insiders who have grown used to internal power and external weakness, who ask for too little and focus too much attention on strategies designed to minimize damage. George Meany, the longtime head of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., comes in for special scorn.... But Greenhouse’s greatest anger is for the large companies—and their Wall Street owners—that have no human connection to the workplace and that are pushing the limits with new tactics to demoralize workers and strip them of their power and dignity.... Labor laws won’t change without breaking the grip of big money on politics, and if we ignore campaign finance law, we do so at workers’ peril. It will also require union leaders to embrace and invest in the hard work of organizing, and to organize workers who will never pay dues. And it will require putting the stories of work—and of working men and women — at the center of our news...


#noted #2020-03-05

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