For many years, American unions have been trying to “organize of the unorganized” to offset and, where possible, reverse their steady loss of dues-paying membership. In union circles, a distinction was often made between that “external organizing” — to recruit workers who currently lack collective bargaining rights — and “internal organizing,” which involves engaging more […]
Labor’s Love Lost Over Obamacare?
Like many labor negotiators, I looked to health care reform for legislative relief from endless haggling with management over employee benefit costs. My own union and others worked hard for passage of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) three years ago. Despite its failure to take health insurance issues off the bargaining table, as a […]
Verizon Strike: A Teachable Moment?
Why Health Care Strikes Should Demand “Health Care For All,” Not Just “Hands Off My ‘Middle Class’ Benefits” For two weeks in August, thousands of Verizon strikers provided an inspiring display of picket-line militancy and resistance to contract concessions. From Massachusetts to Virginia, members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood […]
Caregiver Unions: Much Needed But Most Vulnerable Now
Often overlooked amid the current attacks on long-established public sector unions around the country is the threat to recently organized workers, who are the lowest paid and most badly treated. When “regular” state workers are under attack, it’s not easy to improve the conditions of a contingent workforce of direct care providers at the bottom […]