Union Veterans Speak On ‘Labor’s Strategic Impasse

Jack Rasmus invites back union veteran guests he has interviewed over the past year for a roundtable discussion of ‘what can be done’ by union labor to break out of its strategic impasse of organizing-membership decline, collective  bargaining, and political action. Jack provides a brief recap of Unions’ decline in membership, bargaining ineffectiveness, and political results in recent decades, and then turns the discussion over to union veterans to share their views’ on specifics on what should be done to reverse the strategic dead end for union labor today.  Jack welcomes union veterans, with more than four decades of experience each: Steve Early, of the Communications Workers of America, Greg Shotwell of the United Autoworkers, and Jerry Gordon, of the United Food & Commercial Workers. They join together in a lively discussion of how union labor might resurrect itself, starting at the grass roots, by engaging in new ways of organizing, of bargaining, and new initiatives in independent political action.

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Max September 1, 2014 1:06 pm 

    Mr. Rasmus – The one dynamic AND the most important dynamic is the role of the corporate owned media and it’s briefly mentioned as a,”side note”. Have you never read,” Manufacturing Consent”? Have you ever watched the NFB of Canada documentary(VHS or DVD) on Professor Chomskys book,”Manufacturing Consent”? Working people are not being informed with all the facts. You can talk about Organizing, Bargaining and Political Strategies until the cows come home but nothing is going to change IF nothing changes. There IS a direct line between,”the newspaper box, the ballot box, the bread box and the pine box”. If you had an informed membership(Union), you wouldn’t be having this radio show. The soloution? A citizen owned, citizen content controlled, citizen operated and citizen responsible newspaper with lots of references to go along with any and all news items reported. A web site to go along with it would be a great start. I’m tired of being told what to beleive by my elected “Career” elected Union reps(Leadership?)…anything to stay off the floor…Socialist to this union member…Capitalist to that Union member…it’s sad. We need to be informed and the membership must be intrusted to with the responsibility of the decision making. The National Office(UAW/CAW & TCA/Unifor) is not the Union…the membership is. I first read about the idea from John Millers 1999 book,” Yesterdays News – Why Canada’s Daily Newspapers are Failing Us” (bottom of page 54)”. Mr. Miller heard the idea from Canada’s own Ed Finn. Mr. Finn goes into more detail in his 2013 book,” A Journalists Life on the Left”. Mr Rasmus…we have to stop looking at working people or union members as,”sheeple”. They are people capable of understanding complex ideas explained in simple terms and I’m not the sharpest tool in the drawer.
    Mr. Blair “Max” Phillips
    St. Catharines,Ontario
    GM of Canada retiree

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