It’s a challenge these days to find many journalists willing to take an objective, thoughtful look at the state of organized labor. There are plenty who want to sing its death knell or assail it as the root of all evil. But the voices reminding us that labor unions created and stand up for the middle class are few and, too often, muted.
But not Bill Moyers. Moyers, a stalwart at PBS for decades, has regularly championed fair coverage of unions, working people and the issues important to them. The most recent example of that kind of coverage was earlier this month on his program, Moyers & Company, which addressed the question: “Is Labor a Lost Cause?”
Moyers interviewed two people who can best answer the question: Stephen Lerner and Bill Fletcher Jr. Lerner founded SEIU’s Justice for Janitors movement and headed up the union’s private equity project. Fletcher worked as a welder at the Massachusetts shipyards before becoming 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. Both labor activists offered unique, intriguing and inspirational perspectives on the future of unions. The interview — like much of what Moyers presents — is worth a look.