Are modern American unions doomed merely to succumb to dealmaking with business Republicans and centrist Democrats?
Rich Yeselson worked for twenty-three years in the labor movement as a strategic campaigner. He is now a writer in Washington, DC.
The union loss in Bessemer, Alabama against Amazon was a crushing defeat. It’s a reflection of a disjunction between “laborism,” the intellectual and activist infrastructure supportive of organized labor, and the labor movement itself.
Despite the best efforts of former AFL-CIO leader John Sweeney, organized labor has continued its decline. Not only have we been politically defeated, but our very historical memory of struggle is under assault. We desperately need to find a way to make “big labor” truly big again.
For a hurting labor movement, last week’s successful unionization vote in Chattanooga was a small but significant win.
What should we take away from Tuesday’s election results?
Examining the roots of the United Auto Workers’ defeat at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tenn., plant.