In her newest book Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell), author and maverick organizer Jane McAlevey draws on her two decade-long experience and sets out a plan for revitalizing labor. Reacting to Michigan’s Republican-dominated legislature’s passage of the so-called “right to work” law (an uncomfortable term to use due to its racist origin) and the corporate-backed effort to push for similar legislation nationwide, she made several big media appearances last week and over the weekend to outline the state of labor in America (prognosis: not good) and how labor can be revived. She appeared on MSNBC's UP with Chris Hayes, Counterspin, KALW in San Francisco, The Real News, Huffpost Live, and KBOO community radio in Portland. Audio lies below the jump. Click on the links to listen and watch the interviews in full.
Throughout her interviews she incisively analyzes the momentous (and worrying) consequences of the law, and argues for organized labor's adoption of a more holistic strategy, not just limited to workplace issues. Much like the labor social movements that sprung up all over the country during the 1930s as a response to the Great Depression, unions need to address issues that affect workers outside of their "nine to fives" in their homes, such as their children's access to good schooling and poverty. Only then will labor regain its rapidly-diminishing influence.