Oct 26, 2019 • 1HR 19M

The Future of American Labor

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Appears in this episode

Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.
Episode details

Labor writer, Steven Greenhouse, joins Ralph to discuss his new book “Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present and Future of American Labor.” Then Steve, David, and Ralph have a spirited discussion about how the 99% can wrest power from the 1%.

Steven Greenhouse is an award-winning reporter who covered labor and workplace issues for nineteen years at The New York Times.  He has also served as a business and economics reporter and a diplomatic and foreign correspondent. His latest work is Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor.

“I think one of the reasons Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania is that workers were too misinformed, and they thought Trump was going to do wonders for them. And if unions did a better job communicating, educating, perhaps a weekly email newsletter about how Trump is hurting workers, how Trump has rolled back all these protections that Obama had provided, extending overtime to millions of more workers. Obama issued this very important rule that doesn’t get enough attention that required Wall Street firms to act in the best interests of workers in handling their 401Ks. And Trump, doing a huge favor for Wall Street and really stabbing workers in back, scrapped that rule. Now, it’s much easier for Wall Street firms to rip off workers.”

Steven Greenhouse, author of “Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past Present and Future of American Labor”

“In no other industrial nation do corporations fight so hard to beat back and, indeed, quash labor unions. And they threaten to close their plant if they unionize. They threaten to even cut benefits if workers unionize. In 34% of unionization drives – one study found – the companies fire the workers who are leading the unionization drive in order to cripple the unionization drive.”

Steven Greenhouse, author of “Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past Present and Future of American Labor”

“Tens of millions of workers are making less today than workers were paid in 1968 adjusted for inflation, even though – because of automation etc. – you are twice as productive. One worker in Walmart produces as much as two workers in Walmart in 1968. You’re getting zero benefit. All the productivity gains are going to pay Walmart’s executives and top managers and not to you.”

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 294 Transcript
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