Interview: Meet Jane McAlevey, labor’s hell-raiser

Interview by Blair Braverman, Waging Nonviolence

What lessons in the labor movement do you think other movements should pick up on?

I don’t think there is any way out of the mess in America if we don’t reengage in a structured, strategic, smart discussion with millions of Americans. Because I think millions of Americans are with us on damn near every issue. Ten percent — forget it, we’re never going to get them. The next 10 percent, it’s going to be really hard and there’s going to be a “Is it worth it?” question. But 80 percent of America is a ton of people, and that is well within our reach. And that’s what you learn during union work, because a union is just like a vivisection — it’s a little cross-section of America.

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