This edition: Is Labor A Lost Cause?Tweet
Original tape date: July 15, 2012.
First aired: July 16, 2012.
Bill opens this week’s show by explaining how last week’s Supreme Court decision not to reconsider Citizens United exposes the hoax that Citizens United was ever about “free” speech. In reality, Bill says, it’s about carpet bombing elections “with all the tonnage your rich paymasters want to buy.”
Also lost in the Supreme media chatter last week: a disturbing ruling that restricts labor unions from directing collected dues toward political causes. There’s no such limit on corporations, naturally – yet another indication that the power and status of modern unions is waning, especially when compared to the unbridled influence of Corporate America. With a sharp decline in union membership, a legion of new enemies, and a series of legal and legislative setbacks, can unions rebound and once again act strongly in the interest of ordinary workers?
On this week’s Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill talks to two people who can best answer the question: Stephen Lerner and Bill Fletcher, Jr. The architect of the SEIU’s Justice for Janitors movement, Lerner directed SEIU’s private equity project, which worked to expose a Wall Street feeding frenzy that left the working class in a state of catastrophe. Fletcher took his Harvard degree to the Massachusetts shipyards, and worked as a welder before becoming a labor activist. He served as assistant to the president of the AFL-CIO, and is author of the upcoming book They’re Bankrupting Us – And 20 Other Myths About Unions.
Later in the show, Bill talks with and invites readings by poet Philip Appleman, whose creativity spans a long life filled with verse, fiction, philosophy, religion… and Darwinism. Appleman’s latest collection is Perfidious Proverbs.
Philip Appleman Poet
Bill Fletcher, Jr. Author
Stephen Lerner SEIU
Bill Moyers Broadcast Journalist, Host of Moyers & Company