Sonali Kolhatkar speaks with Shaun Richman. he coronavirus pandemic brought new attention to the role of low-wage labor in the United States. While most Americans were quick to praise the courage of so-called “essential workers” and call them heroes, few questioned why those working to keep us alive and fed were not earning living wages. Fewer still linked the poor state of labor rights in the US to the waning power of unions.
Now, a new book has issued a fierce call for workers to understand the limits of organizing under existing models and laws and demands a new way of thinking about union organizing, how to expand unions, and make them more politically powerful.
Shaun Richman, author of Tell the Bosses We’re Coming: A New Action Plan for Workers in the Twenty-First Century. Richman spent a decade and a half as a union organizer and representative. He is the Program Director of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College. His writing has been published in The American Prospect, In These Times, Jacobin, The New York Daily News and the New York Times.
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