VIDEO: We Can't Labor Without Our Lives

It's become common on Labor Day for progressives to lament the slow decline of unions, but in the past year and a half we've had to face up sharply to the fact that labor's not just declining, it's under attack. 

This labor day, then, labor leaders, organizers, and thinkers have been contributing suggestions for how to build a 21st century movement, one that takes the best from its history and embraces the reality of the way we live and work now. 

At the Nation, Laura Flanders notes, "Globalization, mechanization and the fast switch from muscle to money-markets as the primary means of amassing wealth have not just modified labor’s dream, they’ve made further sleep impossible." 

In an interview with longtime organizer Jane McAlevey, Flanders discusses the new site of labor struggle--not just the workplace, but every place. McAlevey talks about "deep organizing," organizing that focuses on education, comes out of a radical tradition, and encourages trust. "It's through our rank and file in the labor movement that the relationship to external allies needs to be built. It's not a professional staff operation," she says. "In the 70s we take a turn from what we would call deep organizing into what I would call shallow mobilizing." 

Watch this clip below, and the whole interview here. 

AlterNet / By Sarah Jaffe

Posted at September 3, 2012, 12:43pm