CHICAGO—“We’re just tired!” April Flowers-Lewis told a rally in support of striking Mondelez workers. It’s not hard to see why the folks who make the nation’s cookies and crackers are exhausted and fed up.All through the pandemic, Flowers-Lewis, 48, and her co-workers, members of Bakery and Confectionary Workers Local 1, have been on their feet up to seven days a week, 16 hours a day baking and packing Wheat Thins, Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter, Velveeta, and Animal Crackers here at what was the historic Nabisco plant on this city’s southwest side.
About half the people in this state are poor. Thousands of children are going to bed hungry tonight. This is more important than the US Senate, @Sen_JoeManchin. – Matt Kerner, @MoveOn West Virginia#poorpeoplescampaign #endthefilibuster pic.twitter.com/XoEaiLeNPM
— Poor People's Campaign (@UniteThePoor) August 26, 2021
Trumka embodied the reactionary instincts of a corrupt and privileged labor bureaucracy, steeped in anti-communism and nationalism, that long ago separated the unions from any connection to the defense of workers.
Ten years ago, after overcoming a monthslong protest movement and legal battle, a law called Act 10 took effect in Wisconsin. The nondescript name cloaked the most significant attack on labor rights since President Ronald Reagan broke the air traffic controllers union in 1981.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: How do you explain that in front of the unprecedented ultraliberal offensive, we see weakened worker movement and trade unions?Sam Pizzigati: By the traditional benchmarks for measuring union strength, unions in the United States — particularly in the private sector — haven’t been as weak as they rate right now since the 1920s. Just 7 percent of workers in the private sector carry union cards. Across large swatches of the United States, these numbers suggest, private sector unions barely exist anymore.