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“People are never quiet for long,” says labor historian James Green. But what are we to make of the unquiet employees at Massachusetts grocery store chain Market Basket, who went on strike in order to save their CEO’s job? Is it a victory for working people, or something more complicated? What does it say about the state of the labor movement? We ask these questions of Green, a former professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and the author of several books on labor history and social movements, including Death in the Haymarket.
We also talk care work: home care workers unionizing in Minneapolis (with some thoughts from returning Belabored guest Sumer Spika), pre-K workers and inequality in New York, care workers on strike in Massachusetts, and care workers joining fast food workers on the picket line. And for “Argh,” we hope for better conditions for journalists in war zones and a better understanding of how young workers see life on the job.
Join us on September 17 in Brooklyn for our first-ever Belabored Live event. In the run-up to the People’s Climate March, we’ll be sitting down with labor organizer Nastaran Mohit and Lara Skinner of the Worker Institute at Cornell for a discussion of labor and the climate movement. We’ll be recording for the podcast, with a panel discussion followed by audience Q&A. Belabored Live starts at 7 p.m. at 61 Local, 61 Bergen Street (at Smith), Brooklyn. More info coming soon—watch the Dissent blog and the #Belabored hashtag on Twitter!
Michelle: Minnesota home care workers unionize (The Nation)
Sarah: The Fight for Universal Pre-K (Truthout)
Michelle: How did New York become the most unionized state in the country? (The Nation)
LifeLinks workers on strike (Lowell Sun)
Strike leads to major contract victory (SEIU Local 509)
Fast-food workers seeking $15 wage planning civil disobedience (New York Times)
Michelle: $15 and a Union: Fast-Food Workers Take Their Demands Nationwide (The Nation)
Conversation with James Green
The Good King’s Return (Jacobin)
At Market Basket, the Benevolent Boss is Back. Should We Cheer? (In These Times)
Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!
Sarah: Martin Chulov, James Foley and fellow freelancers: exploited by pared-back media outlets (Guardian)
Michelle: Leonard Nalencz, Kafka and the nurses (Al Jazeera America)