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Forget Elections—Labor Needs To Get Back to Its Roots

Tom Lewandowski Working In These Times
Social organizing, (not elections) built the labor movement. When 19th-century American workers had virtually no institutional or political voice or power, they developed both by caring about and for each other.

A Manual for a New Era of Direct Action

George Lakey Waging NonViolence
What follows is a different manual from the one we put out over 50 years ago. Then, movements operated in a robust empire that was used to winning its wars. The government was fairly stable and held great legitimacy in the eyes of the majority.

Municipal Recipes

Guerrilla Translation
Exciting video with English captions from 15M Movement in Spain with lessons for USA activists.

The AFL-CIO Is Exploring New Investments in Alt-Labor and Texas Organizing

Josh Eidelson The Nation
The AFL-CIO is discussing “the next stage” in alternate formations and there “will be some limited, thoughtful experiments in different places through various affiliates.” The AFL-CIO also plans to support an ambitious multi-union effort to organize in Texas. “The AFT has come to us and said, ‘We want you to convene other unions to make a long-term investment in Texas and we’re going to do it.”

A 100-Year-Old Idea That Could Transform the Labor Movement

Daniel Gross In These Times
With the traditional union model and its emphasis on bargaining by representatives exiting the stage, working people are urgently searching for a new way to challenge corporate power and win a better life for their families. One hundred years later, the road not taken—represented by Local 8—represents one model.

The Organizing Model: As American as Apple Pie

Erik Forman In These Times
Unions have looked to the US for ideas about how to fight back. They adopted "The Organizing Model," an approach to organizing first developed by the AFL-CIO in the 1980s that is now a core principle in virtually every major labor organization in the US, Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia. While the shift to an "organizing" orientation is more than necessary, it is also less than sufficient to revive the labor movement and it's shortcomings have also become apparent.

Now What? Labor Unions and the Inevitability of Class Struggle

Bill Fletcher, Jr. Logos
There are those who suggest that the current union movement cannot sustain itself and that out of its ashes will arise something new and better. Such views are at best wishful thinking and at worst irresponsible . . . Unions, as they are currently constituted, organized and theorized, are not up to the challenges of the 21st century. The existing union movement, however, can play a role in the building of that new labor movement for the not-so-new 21st century.

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Future of Unions: New Models of Worker Representation

Jackie Tortora AFL-CIO Now
The AFL-CIO, along with its affiliate unions, community partners and allies, are embarking on a deep evaluation of the future for working people and the labor movement and exploring innovations for the future of worker organizing. "The basic system of worker representation is failing to meet the needs of America’s working men and women by every critical measure," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
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