3207 – UAW And The New Era Of Labor Empowerment w/ Jane McAlevey

It’s Hump Day! Sam and Emma speak with author and labor organizer Jane McAlevey about the UAW’s recent progress in obtaining tentative agreements with the Big Three automakers, as well as the state of U.S. labor organizing writ large. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on Israel’s bombing of Gazan refugee camps, international backlash to Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing, more GOP infighting, labor action, Trump’s legal cases, a suit against realtors, Biden’s student loan program, and the continued need for humanitarian aid in Ukraine, before touching on Wolf Blitzer’s astonishment as he interviews an unapologetic IDF spokesperson on the recent bombing of refugee camp in Gaza. Jane McAlevey then joins, walking through her insider perspective on the evolution of the labor movement over the last three decades, with the Chicago Teachers Union’s election of Karen Lewis in 2010 marking a major turning point in the raising of worker expectations across the US, planting the seeds for a renaissance of worker action over the next decade, before the Pandemic slammed a brief lid on growing discontent, ramping up the pressure on the working class and resulting in the post-COVID explosion of labor action across the US. Next, McAlevey focuses in on the UAW’s particular journey over the last decade, beginning with an assist from the DOJ with an investigation into the corruption of UAW leadership forcing the union structure’s hand in holding a direct election of the next union president, a choice that – when joined with low voter turnout – saw the election of Shawn Fain (despite extended pushback from remaining leadership). Moving into the era of Fain, McAlevey explores what we can learn from the UAW’s incredible militancy, and addresses the biggest errors she sees facing modern unionization attempts, before she, Sam, and Emma assess the rulings coming out of the NLRB, and the valuable (but limited) impact they can have. McAlevey also tackles both what the UAW’s strike won, and why that victory was so important, before wrapping up with what’s on the horizon for labor organizing in the US.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma talk about AI and copyright, watch the footage of Code Pink’s protest of Blinken, and address the absurd and enraging conflation of anti-zionism and anti-semitism. The MR crew also shares some bigfoot stories, watch Mike Johnson and Tulsi Gabbard present their bigotry on Fox, and Joe Rogan and Elon Musk invent a perpetual smoke-blowing machine. Plus, your IMs!

Check out the recent profile of Jane in The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/persons-of-interest/how-jane-mcalevey-transformed-the-labor-movement

Check out Jane’s work at The Nation here: https://www.thenation.com/authors/jane-mcalevey/

Check out Jane’s most recent book “Rules to Win By” here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/rules-to-win-by-9780197690468?cc=us&lang=en&

Call your representatives about the Israel supplemental funding bill going through the House here: https://palestine.salsalabs.org/callcongressoct31/index.html

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