Listen to the two latest ‘Alternative Visions’ radio shows, hosted by Dr. Jack Rasmus, on the Progressive Radio Network. The first show, airing September 18, interviews guests Steve Early and Carl Finamore who attended the recent AFLCIO convention in LA . The show focuses on the topic of Union-Community Alliances and the AFLCIO’s recent discussion on creating new forms of partnerships between unions and community groups. The second show, that airs September 25, interviews immigrant rights and labor activist, Alan Benjamin, on new realignments of immigration rights groups in progress given the collapse of the Immigrant Rights bill in Congress and Obama’s refusal to take executive action on behalf of immigrant rights.
Both shows and interviews are available for download on the progressive radio network, accessible at http://prn.fm/category/archives/alternative-visions/. The shows are also archived and available at alternativevisions.podbean.com.
1. September 18 show: ‘The AFLCIO Convention & New Union-Community Alliances
Show Description: ‘Dr. Jack Rasmus welcomes two long-time union officers, Steve Early of the CWA and Carl Finamore of the Machinists, who attended the recent AFLCIO convention where delegates recently discussed and voted on whether to bring community groups (NAACP, La Raza, Sierra Club, etc.) into the union federation as a new kind of membership. Both Steve and Carl have more than 30 years each of experience in the US labor movement, which they bring to the discussion. Jack introduces the show and discussion with an explanation of the dimensions of the deep decline in union labor in the USA, its failing organizing and bargaining strategies at the company level and the political level with its alliance with the Democratic Party, as well as the consequences of both. Steve and Carl discuss the resolution and scope of the decision at the AFLCIO convention to forge a deeper partnership with community organizations. How can union labor stop and reverse its slide? Jack and guests debate whether some kind of new grass roots organizational structure uniting labor and community organizations must occur if union labor in the US is to survive and grow.
Guest bios: Steve Early is a retired, long time staff representative for the Communications Workers of America and an author of several recent books on the US union movement today, including ‘Embedded With Organized Labor’ and ‘The Civil Wars in US Labor’. Carl Finamore is a former president of Local 1781 of the machinists union representing workers in the airlines industry and a frequent writer to various magazines and blogs on labor and other issues. Check out both their recent articles on the widely read blog, Counterpunch.org, on the recent AFLCIO convention and other labor topics.’
2. September 24/25 show: Immigrants Rights Movement at Historical Juncture
Show Description: Dr. Jack Rasmus invites long-time immigrant rights and union activist, Alan Benjamin, to discuss current and possible realignments in immigrant rights groups’ strategies in the wake of the collapsed Obama legislative proposals in Congress. Benjamin explains in detail the onerous provisions of the recent immigrant rights bill that is now dead on arrival, the new emerging demands of immigrant rights groups’ as 400,000 a year deportations continue under the current administration. Jack and Alan discuss the just formed ‘United Front for Justice & Dignity’ this September 7 of 100 founding members from 40 different groups, and the AFL-CIO convention’s recent internal debates over resolution #4 vs. resolution #23. New directions in grass roots organizing and new demands by immigrant rights groups for Obama to enact immigration reform by executive order are considered. The demands of the recently formed ‘United Front for Justice & Dignity’ above can be viewed at http://www.todopoderalpueblo.org.
Guest bio: Alan Benjamin is a delegate to the San Francisco AFLCIO central labor council, a long time union member, and a leading activist with several groups advocating rights and citizenship for 11 million undocumented workers in the US.
Access both shows for download at: