Belabored Podcast #12: Hold the Fort?

Belabored Podcast #12: Hold the Fort?

This week in Belabored: fighting hospital closures in Brooklyn, the firing of a dozen Walmart strikers, an end to the New York legal services strike, and a new bill to make managers pay for retaliation. With special guest Rich Yeselson, author of “Fortress Unionism.”

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The twelfth episode of Dissent’s Belabored podcast starts with a rundown of recent news: nurses fighting to save a hospital, the firing of a dozen Walmart strikers, a deal to end New York’s legal services strike, and a new bill to make managers pay for retaliation. Then Sarah and Josh have an extended interview with union veteran and writer Rich Yeselson about his provocative Democracy essay proposing “Fortress Unionism.” They explore several of Yeselson’s arguments, from what labor can learn from its Taft-Hartley defeat, to whether it’s time for unions to retrench. Yeselson talks about “alt-labor against the white whale” and labor’s “sweet spot of weakness.”

Links for those following along at home:

Sarah on nurses’ struggle to save the Long Island College Hospital

Josh on Walmart firings, civil disobedience at Yahoo headquarters protesting the alleged retaliation, and Congressman Grayson’s new anti-retaliation bill

Rich Yeselson on “Fortress Unionism,” his coda on a coming Supreme Court case, and his take on labor’s “Right to Work” defeat in Michigan

Josh’s American Prospect article on “Alt-Labor” and Sarah on “6 Ways to Juice Up the Labor Movement”

Responses to “Fortress Unionism” from Eric Robertson and Brad Plumer (and check out Yeselson’s exchanges with Kate Bronfenbrenner and others in the comments)

Articles we wish we’d written:

Daniel Denvir, “Secret Poll: Corbett should exploit Philly school crisis, attack teachers union for political gain,” City Paper

Seth Freed Wessler, “How Fast Food Companies Steal Workers’ Pay,” Colorlines


Duggan | University of California Press Gardels