Saving Labor’s Sinking Ship

Source: David Moberg, In These Times, Working in These Times blog, January 21, 2015

….The big question for everyone is how to increase the power that organized workers can muster to combat both increasingly hostile corporate and political opponents as well as corrosive trends in work and the economy—from globalization to the “fissured workplace,” where the ultimate managerial power escapes responsibility for what happens on the job.

An answer might be found, said David Rolf, a successful Service Employees (SEIU) organizer and founder of Workers Lab, a new venture to support innovative organizing, when we realize that “policy is merely frozen power, … and power only really comes from disruption,” which leads to “new seats being found at the table of power to bargain. … The question for the 21st century is: what is disruptive power?”

Across many political or strategic differences, many panelists seemed to agree that disruption and, therefore, power relied in large part on mobilizing as organizers many of the millions of already organized workers. Ultimately labor’s greatest resource, the talents of these members, are all too often untapped….