Belabored Podcast #49: Mapping New York’s New Labor Movements, with Ruth Milkman

Belabored Podcast #49: Mapping New York’s New Labor Movements, with Ruth Milkman

In New Labor in New York, editors Ruth Milkman and Ed Ott of the City University of New York analyze thirteen worker centers and labor groups focused on the new “precariat”: traditionally non-union sectors like street vendors, domestic workers, struggling freelance “creatives,” and restaurant workers. This week on Belabored, we speak to Milkman about what these case studies tell us about the future of labor.

Subscribe to the Belabored RSS feed here. Subscribe and rate on iTunes here. Check out the full Belabored archive here. Tweet at @dissentmag with #belabored to share your thoughts, or join the conversation on Facebook. Belabored is produced by Natasha Lewis.

On the left, we often ask what will “save the labor movement,” but how much do we know about the day-to-day work of building labor power at the community level? A new book dives into the emerging grassroots initiatives aimed at organizing New York City’s low-wage workers. In New Labor in New York, editors Ruth Milkman and Ed Ott of the City University of New York present critical analyses of thirteen worker centers and labor groups focused on the new “precariat”: traditionally non-union sectors like street vendors, domestic workers, struggling freelance “creatives,” and restaurant workers. We speak to Milkman about what these case studies tell us about the future of labor and the work of revolutionizing communities from the bottom up.

This week’s news roundup covers the struggle for justice for pregnant workers at Walmart, the politics of equal pay in Washington, a campaign to stop invasive credit checks in employment decisions, and a backhanded attempt to exclude people from healthcare by redefining the workweek. We end with a look at the labor politics surrounding the porn website Kink.com and the dilemma of solidarity and social mobility in a racially segregated world.

News:

Pregnant Workers At Walmart Fear The Company’s New Policy Won’t Go Far Enough To Protect Them

Sarah Jaffe and Josh Eidelson: Whose Walmart? (Belabored Podcast #10)

Why Obama Is Ending Pay Secrecy For Federal Contractors

What’s the GOP’s Excuse for Opposing Equal Pay This Time?

NYC Coalition to Stop Credit Checks in Employment

House votes to change health-care law’s definition of full-time work

Conversation with Ruth Milkman

Ruth Milkman’s website

Ruth Milkman and Ed Ott, New Labor in New York: Precarious Workers and the Future of the Labor Movement (Cornell, 2014)

Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!

Sarah: Melissa Gira Grant, "For the Love of Kink," Dissent

Michelle: Jamelle Bouie, “Down and Out: The single fact that powerfully explains why black Americans have such a hard time climbing the economic ladder,” Slate and Richard Sherman, “Stardom Doesn’t Change Where You’re From,” SI.com


Duggan | University of California Press Gardels