Belabored Podcast #145: Rights and Rebellions, with Shaun Richman

Belabored Podcast #145: Rights and Rebellions, with Shaun Richman

Facing a legislative onslaught, the labor movement must rediscover its fighting spirit—and find ways to turn the GOP attack to its own advantage.

“We're worth more!” Milwaukee fast-food workers stage a sit-in strike for $15 an hour and union rights, September 2014 (Joe Brusky / Flickr)
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The labor movement often seems trapped between legislative attacks and its own learned helplessness. But there’s a renewed sense of militancy slowly coming to the surface—and no better sign of it than this week’s West Virginia teacher walkout, which has closed down every school district in the state. As the labor movement faces down Janus vs. AFSCME, which begins oral arguments this month at the Supreme Court and could have devastating consequences for public-sector unions, we talk with longtime labor organizer and strategist Shaun Richman, who’s been thinking about outside-the-box ways for the labor movement to regain its rebellious spirit.

We also hear from St. Paul teachers and Oregon public workers about organizing under the gun, look at our failed family leave system and Donald Trump’s infrastructure-plan-that-isn’t, and think about commuting time as working time and the hard work of producing art that takes workers seriously.

Belabored will be at Labor Notes 2018! Come see our live recording and stop by our booth. More information on the Labor Notes site.


News

Michelle: “The Family Medical Leave Act Is a Quarter-Century Old This Year—and in Desperate Need of an Update” (The Nation)

Michelle: “Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is Great, Unless You Want Actually Functioning Infrastructure” (The Nation)

Sarah: “How to Halt Labor’s Slow Death” (New Republic)

Sarah: West Virginia Teachers Walk Out (Dissent)

Lois Weiner, “How Business Unionism Got Us to Janus” (In These Times)


Conversation

Shaun Richman, organizer, strategist (@Ess_Dog)

Labor Wars: Two Reasons Why Most Unions Don’t Do Large-Scale Organizing (New Labor Forum)

With Bill Fletcher, Jr: What the Revival of Socialism in America Means for the Labor Movement (In These Times)

Biggest Labor Stories of 2017: The Attacks From Above and the Fight From Below (In These Times)

Republicans are Taking Voter Suppression to the Workplace (In These Times)

The right to organize at work deserves constitutional protection (Vox)

Labor’s Bill of Rights (The Century Foundation)

Here’s How a Supreme Court Decision To Gut Public Sector Unions Could Backfire on the Right (In These Times)


Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!

Michelle: Maggie Doherty, “Trump Betrays the Bards of Hard Work” (New York Times)

Sarah: Winnie Hu, “For Health Care Workers, the Worst Commutes in New York City” (New York Times)


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