Blog post

Making the case for the US labor movement

Jessica Turner 4 December 2012

"The labor movement is the only thing standing between working Americans and abject poverty," Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell) author Jane McAlevey said during an interview on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show yesterday.

During the forty minute segment, McAlevey asserts that unions will only regain relevance when they make issues like the foreclosure crisis, lack of affordable childcare and failing US education system—realities workers face outside the shop door—a priority. This work is difficult, running contrary to current union doctrine, but absolutely vital to reviving the movement, said the author: 

The author further argues that rather than bemoaning the loss of yesteryear's manufacturing jobs, unions and their allies ought to be channeling their resources into organizing workers in the jobs that exist now: be they in the service sector or wherever. Factory jobs were deathtraps until decades of radical, militant worker action spanning the 19th and 20th century made them otherwise. The walkouts at fastfood chains across the country are an inspiring example of this work happening in the New Economy. 

Raising Expectations
is available now. Visit The Leonard Lopate Show to listen to the segment in full.

Filed under: interviews