Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Labor activism that felt safe to the corporate word

Stephen Greenhouse, labor and workplace reporter for The New York Times and author of "The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker," talks about the low wage dystopia being faced by our nation's workforce.

Stephen Greenhouse, labor and workplace reporter for The New York Times and author of "The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker," talks about the low wage dystopia being faced by our nation's workforce.

It was great having Stephen Greenhouse on the show. His book breaks ground, at least for mainstream Americans who read The NY Times. Something is amiss in capitalist America, and even our newspaper of record can talk about it.

Bringing up the history of labor revealed some differences in perception. Stephen maintains that the media has essentially treated the labor movement fairly over the last half century. Critics of the media may find that statement astounding; I certainly did. Stephen also brought up the need for labor to be more "active" if working people are to make any gains in America. But the type of activism that Stephen was talking about didn't include the IWW's in the beginning of the last century, or the wildcat strikes of the late Thirties and Forties. According to Stephen, the IWW included terrorists who "sent bombs to people," and the wildcat strikes "threatened America's prosperity." Stephen meant only labor activism that felt safe to the corporate word of The New York Times.

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