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Alternative Visions – Labor Fightback Network Cleveland Conference – 08.11.17

Host Jack Rasmus interviews guest members of the Labor Fightback Network and their recent conference held in Cleveland. The Network is an organization of local union activists, elected officers, and select union representatives attempting to return the US union movement to a tradition of independent political action, progressive economic demands like ‘Medicare for All/Single Payer’, and labor community alliances. Jack interviews Alan Benjamin, a member of the LFN steering committee, on the program of the organization. A lively discussion follows on the need to resurrect the labor movement in the US, now at a nadir, and restore it to the role it once had.  Discussion ranged from new forms of independent political action occurring, movements for $15 minimum wage, single payer, efforts to draft Bernie Sanders as a candidate for a Peoples Party, the accelerating rise of membership in the Democratic Socialists of America, DSA, grass roots electoral efforts like the Richmond Alliance, and others.  Rasmus argues union resurrection in US history were always associated with new organizational forms—from the Knights of Labor to the AFofL to the industrial union CIO—and today a new organizational form of struggle will be required once again, not just the traditional union structure that remains. Benjamin differs and sees a resurrection and lead by the union movement itself. Both agree new resistance from below, led by young workers, is beginning to occur. (For more information on the Labor Fightback Network and its program, go to the website, http://laborfightback.org.

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