Jane McAlevey walks through her insider perspective on the evolution of the labor movement over the last three decades, with the Chicago Teachers Union’s election of Karen Lewis in 2010 marking a major turning point in the raising of worker expectations across the US, planting the seeds for a renaissance of worker action over the next decade, before the Pandemic slammed a brief lid on growing discontent, ramping up the pressure on the working class and resulting in the post-COVID explosion of labor action across the US. Next, McAlevey focuses in on the UAW’s particular journey over the last decade, beginning with an assist from the DOJ with an investigation into the corruption of UAW leadership forcing the union structure’s hand in holding a direct election of the next union president, a choice that – when joined with low voter turnout – saw the election of Shawn Fain (despite extended pushback from remaining leadership). Moving into the era of Fain, McAlevey explores what we can learn from the UAW’s incredible militancy, and addresses the biggest errors she sees facing modern unionization attempts, before she, Sam, and Emma assess the rulings coming out of the NLRB, and the valuable (but limited) impact they can have. McAlevey also tackles both what the UAW’s strike won, and why that victory was so important, before wrapping up with what’s on the horizon for labor organizing in the US.
Click for the New Yorker article about Jane.