Despite unprecedented chaos in Washington, AT&T workers have proved once again that good old fashioned organizing still gets the goods. Following a national three-day strike, we talk to Bob Master of the Communication Workers of America on what workers got and what work there’s left to do as they move toward a contract deal. We also look at the other side of a key issue in the negotiations—rampant offshoring of call center jobs to various outlets in the Global South. We talk to Dominican Republic-based organizers Oliver Benson and Hanoi Sosa about organizing call center workers in solidarity with their U.S. counterparts.
In other news, we examine what the data says about a pivot point for UK politics as Labour ascends, the effectiveness of universal basic income, Portland and Oakland unions mobilizing against fascism racism, and the Puerto Rico debt crisis and vicious austerity measures thrashing the island. With recommended reading on memories of work and coming of age, and the Democrats destroying public education.
If you think our work is worth supporting as we soldier on through Trumplandia, please consider becoming a sustaining member of Belabored or donating or subscribing to Dissent. Please help keep us going for the next 128 episodes!
No Strings Attached: The Behavioral Effects of U.S. Unconditional Cash Transfer Programs (Roosevelt Institute)
Noose discovery at Port of Oakland prompts longshoremen walk-out (East Bay Times)
Response to the Portland Attack (Amalgamated Transit Union Division 757)
Organized Labor Groups Pledge Show of Support (And Muscle) on June 4 (Willamette Week)
Sarah and Michelle: Belabored Podcast #107: Controlling Crisis in Puerto Rico, with Héctor Cordero-Guzmán (Dissent)
Bob Master, CWA Political Director
Oliver Benson and Hanoi Sosa, Dominican Republic-based call center organizers
Michelle: The Workers Who Answer Your Customer-Service Calls (The Nation)
Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!
Michelle: Akhil Sharma, Richard Ford, Toni Morrison, On the Job (The New Yorker)
Sarah: Diane Ravitch, Don’t Like Betsy DeVos? Blame the Democrats (New Republic)