Labor Day 2020

Bill Fletcher Jr.
Nation Magazine
June 2, 2020

"The spread of COVID-19 and its economic fallout have created an opening for labor to lead a mass movement... While weaker than in the past trade unions are still among the few groups with enough resources to advance a transformation that addresses not just racial injustice but also economic inequality, environmental catastrophe, and imperialism... Unless something dramatic is undertaken, the aftermath of COVID-19 will be economic and social collapse...

"Labor must recognize that the crisis is not just about trade union members. There have been endless debates within organized labor over whether the movement should attempt to represent the entire working class or only dues-paying members. Those debates must end. Unions need to internalize the goals of what is known as bargaining for the common good, whereby they address issues facing the larger community...

"Union must lead a coalition that opposes austerity... Unions must recognize the urgent need for massive worker organizing done on a strategic basis. The greatest growth of organized labor in US history occurred during the Great Depression... The old way of operating has failed and... a new approach is needed... Labor cannot just defend its dwindling membership; it must... become a movement unafraid of exposing the myths and horrors of the so-called American experiment."



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