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

Teachers Are Leading the Revolt Against Austerity: The strikes aren’t just about pay. They’re a rejection of tax cuts for the wealthy and a rallying cry for public goods and services.

In less than three months, rank-and-file teachers and educational support staff in five states—West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arizona—have turned the entire country into their classroom. They haven’t just pushed for—and won—better pay and working conditions for themselves. They’ve also mounted a direct challenge to decades of bipartisan tax cuts for corporations, helping us all understand what austerity means. Read More

West Virginia teachers protest

The WV Education Strike Shows that Winning Big Requires Creating a Crisis: Cover story in the Nation

The teachers understood that to win, to not go down in the record books as another huge defeat, they had to stay on strike and escalate the crisis. They could not have achieved the victory without having the community firmly on their side. Educators, like health-care workers, have an incredibly powerful, organic relationship with their communities—relationships so strong they are durable against sophisticated right-wing attacks. Read More

The Nation: Labor’s Last Stand

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 public school teachers, the threat to unionized workers is playing out in all fifty states, to the drumbeat in the media about states going broke because of government workers’ wages, pensions and benefits. Read More

Nation Conversations: Why Unions Are Not the Problem

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 movement, and as Jane McAlevey outlines in her article in this week’s issue of The Nation, could be the first step toward rebuilding an ethical American economy. Read More