For socialists, unions are paradoxical organizations. On the one hand, unions are essential for creating a workers' organization that can oppose capital and challenge it for power. But they are also an insufficient vehicle for mobilizing those workers to transform the world.
Barry Eidlin is an assistant professor of sociology at McGill University and a former head steward for UAW Local 2865.
At a time of historic working-class weakness, it’s tempting to watch the portrayal of Jimmy Hoffa in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and long for similar labor leadership today. But while Hoffa negotiated contracts that improved the lives of millions, his corruption and autocratic leadership also paved the way for the Teamsters’ decline.
Bernie Sanders’s Workplace Democracy Plan, unveiled yesterday, is the best plan for promoting workers’ rights ever proposed by a major US presidential candidate. Whether they support or oppose it, all the other Democratic candidates will have to respond to it.
I believe in democracy, freedom, and humans' ability to create a better world than the one we have now. That's why I'm a socialist.
We can't win socialism without workers fighting back. The rank-and-file strategy gives us the tools to do that.
Erik Olin Wright understood the necessity of clearly articulating what’s wrong with society, what a better society could look like, and how we could get there.
At its best, the labor movement hasn't just fought for better wages. It's fought to bring democracy to workplaces marked by despotism.
Unions are under unprecedented attack under Trump. But labor can rebuild itself — if it chooses to.
Why Democrats were wrong to think that shifting demographics alone would hand them victory.
Why it matters that the United States has no labor party.
Why are US unions less powerful than their Canadian counterparts?
Walter Reuther's careful management of shop-floor politics shapes the UAW's relationship to student workers today.