Making Hope and History Rhyme

NLF Highlights for January

The winter 2023 issue of New Labor Forum is due out shortly! In this newsletter, we offer a preview of one of the lead articles, “Making Hope and History Rhyme: A New Worker Movement from the Shell of the Old.” Written by Marilyn Sneiderman and Stephen Lerner, two longtime labor organizers and strategists, the article draws important lessons for a new crop of activists now spurring a wave of strike actions and union drives around the country. Lerner and Sneiderman see the present moment as one of both great promise and grave peril. On the positive side, public support for unionization currently stands at 68%, the highest it has been in half a century. And, during the past two years, labor organizing has surged – among Starbucks baristas, journalists, museum staff, and employees of Amazon, Chipotle, and Trader Joe’s, among others.

However, as Lerner and Sneiderman point out, for a variety of reasons, union density, presently 10.2% of the U.S. workforce, continues to decline. And while the number of work stoppages increased in 2021, they’re no where near the number of strike actions in the 1960s and 1970s. And, as the authors show, the consolidation of corporate power, the crisis of democracy, and mounting climate disaster make current organizing a steep uphill battle, but a battle that must be won. Big thinking about how to win that battle is what you’ll find in their article and our recent podcast discussion with them.

Table of Contents

  1. Making Hope and History Rhyme: A New Worker Movement from the Shell of the Old / Marilyn Sneiderman and Stephen Lerner, New Labor Forum
  2. Reinventing Solidarity Episode 38:”Making Hope and History Rhyme”
  3. “Still Broke: Walmart’s Remarkable Transformation and the Limits of Socially Conscious Capitalism,” Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM , CUNY SLU Virtual Event

Making Hope and History Rhyme: A New Worker Movement from the Shell of the Old
By Marilyn Sneiderman and Stephen Lerner, New Labor Forum

In this third decade of the twenty-first century, the U.S. and global working class confront conditions unique both in their potential for advancing justice and in their ability to deepen already gaping economic and racial inequality and planetary peril. Especially since 2020, workers have engaged in protest and organizing in ways that inspire great hope. Workers are angry, organizing, striking, and challenging their bosses and the systemic racism they face . . .

Read the full article here

Over the past half-century, labor activists Marilyn Sneiderman and Stephen Lerner have been responsible for spurring major strategic advances in union organizing and movement building. Here, they discuss their recent New Labor Forum article, titled “Making Hope and History Rhyme: A New Worker Movement from the Shell of the Old.” Describing the present moment as one of unparalleled peril and opportunity, they draw crucial lessons for the new crop of activists who have emerged in the current wave of strike action and unionization around the country.



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