January 2nd 2013,
On the day after a Democratic cave-in agreement to avert the fiscal cliff, it is important to read about a hero of labor - Jerry Tucker, who passed away earlier this year. Brother Tucker believed that organizing the workers, from the rank and file on up, was one of the keys to a successful organizing drive. He was also one of the early theorists of the "corporate campaign," where outside pressure is applied to owners of a company trying to avoid a union drive. Jerry also was one of the first and one of the best at understanding that real organizing involves the whole working class community - not just the members of a specific union trying to organize.
At the Workers Unite Film Festival, we strongly believe that tens of thousands of workers, who are not currently unionized, need to be spoken to - educated, illuminated on critical issues, pulled into groups of commonality, then organized. Many new worker center groups are doing just that successfully today and we stand ready to help them either broadcast their messages, or - if need be - offer films and video from the past that demonstrate to newly approached workers how their plight is not new - how many thousands have faced the same tough fights before them, and how important and worthwhile making that fight part of their daily lives can be.
Jerry also spoke clearly of the need for labor leaders to develop and communicate a clearly different vision to their current and future members - a vision of a socially just society, with income equality, national health care and the goals of secure and good jobs for all who want to work.
Thanks to The New Republic and Alec MacGillis for this thoughtful and powerful piece. Not only is it a tribute to a truly great leader of workers, but it remains a key vision for any possible path for labor's growth into the future.
Read the whole story here: http://www.tnr.com/blog/alec-macgillis/111488/the-man-who-tried-save-organized-labor#