Writing
Organizers with substantial, direct experience in the field have an entirely different focus than authors who have not been involved in campaigns: we focus on how the work gets done (methods), and how to win.

Drivers demand job security and livable incomes at a protest at Uber and Lyft’s New York City headquarters in May 2019

Silicon Valley’s Offer of Sectoral Bargaining Is a Trick: If national union leaders acquiesce to the creation of a third category of worker in exchange for sectoral bargaining, collective begging will replace collective bargaining.

There is a massive power play taking place right now, being led by some of the biggest titans of industry—particularly in Silicon Valley—who seek to avoid having to contribute to society at all by rewriting the legal status of their workers. The current debate about who is a worker, who is an independent contractor, and who is legally eligible for things like Social Security and unemployment insurance centers around the question of whether state and federal policy makers accept or reject what is referred to as a “third category” of worker. Read More

Arizona teachers march in Phoenix

Why Unions Must Recommit to Expanding Their Base: Demobilizing our base is never a good idea, especially when the right wing and the Trump forces continue to mobilize

Unions need to expand their base if Democrats are to stand any real chance in the future; simultaneously, they need to provide deep political education. Joe Biden’s platform for the economy, part of his Build Back Better plan, would substantially advance the quality of life among the multiracial working class—but the prospect of getting any of those proposals through the Senate, no matter the outcome in Georgia’s runoff elections, isn’t realistic. Read More

chile general strike

Short of a General Strike, How Can Labor Stop Trump From Stealing the Election?: Lessons from Chile’s uprising—and from the 2000 Florida recount fight.

There has been a lot of social media chatter about a general strike here in the United States if the results are ambiguous and Trump tries to steal the election. It would be amazing if national trade unions here were prepared to take the same actions in November 2020 that Chile’s national unions took in November 2019—but there’s absolutely no indication that people in positions of power in significant sectors of the US economy are ready to act as boldly as Chilean leaders did. Read More

new york review of books cover cropped

Getting Out of Tight Corners: Anyone who thinks civil unrest isn’t coming on November 3 isn’t paying attention

Anyone who thinks civil unrest isn’t coming on November 3 isn’t paying attention. The most important lessons from Florida in 2000 and Germany in 2019 have a common thread: ordinary people need to be willing to defy Democratic Party leadership, and even some trade union leadership, to save the country from an even worse misery. Read More

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden puts his mask back on after delivering remarks in Wilmington, Delaware on August 13, 2020. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Biden Needs to Talk About Jobs on Labor Day. And Every Day.: If he does, he just might win in November.

Instead of allowing a deliberate undermining of 21st century essential public services, Biden could stitch together race, gender, jobs, unions, and good government in one powerful speech. For example, he could explain that at union-busting FedEx, workers earn half what their counterparts do at the post office for service that is no better and often worse for higher charges—and that the difference is who gets the income: workers or shareholders? Read More