A fair look at labor

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.


  1. C July 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    What a great interview. Local and state leaders of unions would be wise to take some of the advice of Lerner and Fletcher.

  2. Liza Frenette July 20, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Thanks for the reference to this sharp interview. Nice to know about this book, and that some people are still telling the truth: it’s the banks — not the workers — rutting this economy.

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