For readers interested in a discussion of the ‘Strategic Impasse’ confronting unions in the US today, in the following ‘Alternative Vision’ radio shows host, Dr. Jack Rasmus, interviews long-time local labor leaders on the topic of Unions’ political, industrial (bargaining, organizing, strike, etc.), and community alliances strategy today. With unions under attack from all directions, Jack and guests discuss whether labor’s political, industrial, and community alliance strategies of the past two decades are today at an historic impasse requiring a thorough re-evaluation and restructuring.
In the November 20 show, Jack interviews Steve Early and Arun Gupta; in the December 11 show, Jerry Gordon and Alan Benjamin.
(Listen on December 18 to the interview with Ray Rogers. Subsequent shows will continue the interviews with seasoned, long time local union leaders on the topic of ‘Is Union Labor at a Strategic Impasse?’)
ALTERNATIVE VISIONS, 12-11-13 SHOW –
Are US Unions Today at a Strategic Impasse, Part 2
Listen/download radio show interview at:
12-11-13 Show Announcement:
“Continuing the discussion initiated on November 20 with guests with long-time grass roots experience in the American union movement, Dr. Jack Rasmus invites Jerry Gordon and Alan Benjamin, to discuss the general topic: Have the basic strategies of US Labor employed since the 1980s now reached an impasse and dead end?. Both guests have more than 40 years of experience each in the union movement, and offer their comments on the state, and future direction, of union labor’s current political, industrial (bargaining, organizing, strikes), and community alliance strategies. Topics addressed include the recent Chicago teachers strike, the fight to protect jobs at Boeing in Seattle, the recent AFLCIO convention, organizing the south, labor’s increasingly shabby treatment by the Democratic Party, and other examples, as discussants take on the topic of ‘what needs to change strategically and organizationally for union labor in America to reverse its decades-long decline.”
“Jerry Gordon is a former representative of the United Food & Commercial Workers for decades, now retired, and currently secretary of the Emergency Labor Network and the Labor Fightback coalition. Alan Benjamin is a long time delegate to the San Francisco Central Labor Council, AFLCIO, a member of OPEIU, and active in labor immigration coalition work.”
ALTERNATIVE VISIONS, 11-20-13 SHOW –
Is Union Labor At a Strategic Impasse?
Listen/download radio show interview at:
11-20-13 SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT:
“Jack Rasmus invites guests, Steve Early and Arun Gupta, to discuss ‘What Strategy for Union Labor in America’. Dr. Rasmus notes how union membership is now in freefall despite tens of millions of workers wanting to have a union today, how collective bargaining is in retreat now on the benefits as well as wages front, and how Labor’s political and industrial strategies of the past two decades have both produced little positive result. Dr. Rasmus and guests discuss how US Labor’s political strategy of ever closer ties to the Democratic Party has resulted in virtually no gains for workers the past 6 years despite billions of dollars of union contributions to the party. And how Labor’s industrial-bargaining strategy, focused on maintaining health and pension benefits in lieu of wage increases, is now being ripped apart as well by legislated health care and pension changes. With political-industrial strategies of the last two decades now in disarray, what are the alternatives for forging new strategies for organized labor in America? Jack and guests discuss what it means to say labor should embark on a path of more ‘independent political action’ and/or initiate new forms of industrial and bargaining, while reducing its reliance on the Democratic party and its primary focus on maintenance of benefits bargaining.”
“Steve Early was a long time CWA staff member in the Boston area and now author of several books on the present condition of labor, workers and their unions in America today. Arun Gupta is an activist with the Occupy movement.”