Randy Shaw: Collectively, grassroots activists have had quite a week. And those still on the sidelines should consider legendary organizer Fred Ross Sr.’s advice: “strike while the iron is hot!”
Mark Vorpahl: Currently, Labor’s top officials see their chief task as getting a seat at the political table. From this position they aim to push back against the most egregious examples of corporate greed, and advocate for reforms that benefit workers.
Hasira Ashemu: If labor cannot utilize everything in its toolkit to turn the tide, then it and the aspirations of millions of black, brown, yellow, red and yes, white people will be tragically marginalized.
Walter Brasch: About 800,000 Pennsylvanians are members of labor unions, and the state has a long history of union rights and activism, but neither of the two largest university systems has a labor representative on its governing board.
Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Rather than mobilizing members to defend their standard of living by putting up a fight, organized labor has relied exclusively on electing Democrats to office.
Shamus Cooke: Millions of union and non-union workers have seen their lives worsen under Obama while he promotes stunts that are intended to serve the wealthy and fool everybody else.
Randy Shaw: Labor rewards those who wait. But those whose advancement depends on their willingness to wait may not be the most visionary or talented.
Shamus Cooke: Hefty splits in the labor movement have already emerged on whether to support Obama’s reelection, based on his complete lack of action on creating jobs combined with his false promises in the 2008 election.
Berry Craig: Many union members were deeply disappointed when Congress failed to do more to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Unions wanted more health care reform than Congress delivered, too.
Shamus Cooke: The fundamental difference between the powerful unions of yesterday and the passive unions of today is the unwillingness of today’s unions to wage a real fight in the streets and workplaces.
Walter Brasch: Good presidents do what is best for the country. Great presidents, however, do not only what is best for the people, but are also willing to speak to the courage of their beliefs, of their principles, even if it may be unpopular among many of their constituencies.
Carl Bloice: Any member of Congress who thinks obstructionism is the way to win elections should know that in two years we will be sure that voters will know who stood in the way of jobs. We have an energized membership that’s ready to fight, and we’re going to give it everything we have.