Articles

The following are all the articles I’ve published over the years:

My Post Election Thoughts, Published on Alternet January 5, 2017 - The right’s obsession with union-busting is nothing new; sadly, neither is the Democratic Party’s indifference to it. For 35 years, Democrats have ignored, acquiesced in and even supported the dismantling of the American labor movement. Believing that demography is destiny, big data is strategy and framing is persuasion, the liberal elite cast off the working […]
First Excerpt of the Forthcoming Book: Labor Day Musings September 5, 2016 - For several decades in the middle of the last century, millions of workers of all ethnicities woke up on Labor Day each year and headed for their local Labor Day march. Arm in arm they walked down the streets, singing songs of solidarity. It’s no accident that in those same years, income inequality was falling, […]
Analyzing 20 Years of New Labor’s Leadership in the US Labor Movement September 2, 2015 - My first academic article is hitting the press, published by the journal Politics & Society. If you have access to a university account, please download it from their website. Politics & Society is an expensive academic journal and my article, along with several commentaries written by other academics, are all locked behind a firewall. But […]
Behind the News with Doug Henwood August 31, 2015 - Doug Henwood and I sat down and spent an hour discussing my new Politics & Society article (September 2015 issue). The interview is an overview of the past twenty years of what’s called ‘New Labor’s’ ascent to the leadership of the US labor movement. As Henwood points out, the article is locked behind an expensive […]
We Need Syriza in Illinois February 16, 2015 - The new governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, is a hedge fund manager whose salary last year was $60 million. He spent $65.9 million—including $27.6 million of his own money—buying his last election, and he’s about to introduce an austerity program that will make most folks in Illinois think they are living in austerity-wracked Greece, with […]
Harris v. Quinn: Separate, and not equal July 2, 2014 - It’d be more than alarming and resoundingly condemned if any institution in the United States tried to take our country back to the days before Dred Scott, or to when people of color in this country fell under the racist and dehumanizing “three-fifths rule.” But the Supreme Court’s decision in Harris v. Quinn smacks of […]
The Nation: Beating Harris v Quinn and Right-to-Work Attacks from the Inside Out July 2, 2014 - Unions are in trouble. Short of a giant meteor crashing on top of the nation’s union headquarters emblazoned with the words, “warning, you will soon be crushed by right-to-work laws,” few things could be clearer from the Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn ruling. Harris v. Quinn unites some of the most toxic trends in American […]
Open Democracy: Organizing as Whole People September 24, 2013 - There are no shortcuts to building the kind of power it takes to win meaningful change. As an organizer in a county with an acute housing crisis, simmering racial tension and little unionization, I learned that I had to help the community to take on the fight themselves. The final article in our “Transformative Nonviolence” […]
AlterNet: What Angelina Jolie Didn’t Tell You About Breast Cancer and That Gene May 31, 2013 - Making money off illness is sickening. Depriving the needy of life-saving healthcare should be criminal. Last month, I lost my too-young-to-die sister to a BRCA#1 breast cancer. When I was a toddler not yet in kindergarten, breast cancer robbed me of my mother. I am a BRCA#1 gene carrier, and recently wrote about it in […]
The Nation: Make the Road New York: Success Through ‘Love and Agitation’ May 31, 2013 - Make the Road New York was formed in 2007, when the Brooklyn-based Make the Road by Walking and the Queens-based Latin American Integration Center merged, forming the largest nonunion immigrant membership organization in New York City. Today, with 12,600 dues-paying members, MRNY is a unique amalgam of worker center, legal clinic, citizenship school, mutual aid […]
Social Policy: Hard Bargaining in Las Vegas Hospitals March 28, 2013 - The Desert Springs contract had now expired. This was a big deal. Under U.S. labor law, when a contract expires, four dangerous things happen: workers can strike; the employer can lock workers out; the employer can stop collecting union membership dues from the workers’ paychecks; and the “permanent window” period for decertifying the union begins. […]
AlterNet: What I Learned in a Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement November 13, 2012 - AlterNet has published excerpts from my book Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement. Read the excerpts over at AlterNet, I’ve reposted them below.
The Nation: Lessons From Wisconsin June 26, 2012 - Bill Fletcher and I were talking about the analysis and the coverage of labor’s defeat in the Wisconsin recall effort. After we each read some back and forth in The Nation, we decided to jump into the fray to call out the central issue of the lack of radical political education inside today’s unions. Read […]
The Nation: Building a Real Blue-Green Alliance April 21, 2012 - The following was released on The Nation. No one wants to dwell on the faults of a successful campaign. Featuring mass celebrity arrests and dramatic images of thousands encircling the White House, last year’s struggle to halt the Keystone XL pipeline has come to be regarded as a model of progressive activism in the Obama […]
Nation Conversations: Building a Real Blue-Green Alliance April 19, 2012 - It looks like you don’t have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now. The labor-environmental partnership, or, more colloquially, the blue-green alliance, has fallen into a state of disrepair. Even though pro-union environmentalists and a few unions worked together to fight the Keystone XL pipeline, the two camps ultimately remain divided, to their own detriment. In […]
The Nation: Labor’s Last Stand February 18, 2011 - I’ve penned another piece for The Nation titled “Labor’s Last stand” Emboldened by November’s election results, corporations and their right-wing allies have launched what they hope will be their final offensive against America’s unions. Their immediate target is government workers’ unions. While New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie has gained national fame by beating up on […]
Nation Conversations: Why Unions Are Not the Problem February 16, 2011 - It looks like you don’t have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now. This week, thousands of public employees, students and their allies flooded Wisconsin’s streets to protest Governor Scott Walker’s plan to take away workers’ right to collective bargaining. This very public display of workers’ power is a much-needed reinvigoration of a beleaguered labor […]
The Nation: Making Unions Matter Again December 3, 2010 - I recently published a cover story in The Nation title “Making Unions Matter Again” Union organizers–paid staff and rank-and-file workers–should begin to take to the doors and begin to meet hundreds of thousands of workers and galvanize a movement to demand economic justice. If unions do this with unorganized workers and together they win campaigns, […]
AlterNet: Don’t Just Mobilize – Organize November 30, 2010 - Don’t mourn — organize! The classic union motto. So simple. We all agree with it, right? It is not something we need to seriously reflect on, right? We can just print it on a placard and stick it up on the wall by the coffee machine, right? Wrong. In fact, for the past few decades […]
New Labor Forum: It Takes a Community May 8, 2003 - The following is the full text from a piece I published in the New Labor Forum in 2003 summing up the Stamford Campaign. Download the original piece here (PDF) IT TAKES A COMMUNITY Building Unions From the Outside In This article is about a recent organizing campaign in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The Union Organizing Project, as it came […]
Z Magazine: War Against People and Environment January 1, 1990 - On November 10 1989 the eve of El Salvador’s recent insurrection, Guillermo Ungo, leading member of the Salvadoran political opposition, was meeting with EPOCA staff on the environmental crisis in El Salvador. It seems an odd juxtaposition that El Salvador’s opposition leadership would occupy themselves with problems of ecological deterioration as they prepared for the […]