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Elections come and go, but some major problems continue to plague labor unions on both sides of the Atlantic, and many of those problems have their roots in the financialization of our economy. Yet unions are often stuck in a playbook that was written in a different period of capitalist development, and it shows in their struggles. How do unions adapt to a financialized world? Alice Martin and Annie Quick have some suggestions, and they wrote them down in an eminently readable book, Unions Renewed: Building Power in an Age of Finance. They’re our guests this week on the 211th episode of Belabored.
We also look at a strike of essential workers who keep hospitals supplied and clean, another strike of nursing home workers, with Rosalind Reggans, the potential for lots of new green union jobs in offshore wind, and the pandemic’s impact on migrant workers’ rights in the Gulf, with Mustafa Qadri of Equidem. For Argh, we look at the struggles of retail workers as virus numbers spike, and a slow-burning public health crisis in a Southern town.
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SEIU-Backed Workers Plan Strike in Perth Amboy (New Jersey Globe)
Martin and Quick: Our Financialised Care System is Built on a House of Cards – We Urgently Need to Rebuild It (Novara)
Martin and Quick: Solidarity is in the Details: Unions Adapt to a COVID-19 World (Democratic Left)
Argh, I wish I’d written that!
Sarah: Michael Corkery and Sapna Maheshwari, Virus Cases Rise, but Hazard Pay for Retail Workers Doesn’t (New York Times)
Michelle: Alexis Okeowo, The Heavy Toll of the Black Belt’s Wastewater Crisis (New Yorker)