February 24th, 2015
Recently I was invited to speak at the Albert Shanker Institute, the think tank run by the American Federation of Teachers. I know, it kind of makes your head explode, right?
Heavyweights from across the country gathered there in January to discuss the future of our movement. After I got past the suits and lingering hot air, I was struck by just how far the discussion—even in official circles—has swung towards labor’s troublemaking wing.
AFL-CIO Vice-President Tefere Gebre, for example, made a point of saying we can’t do anything without rank-and-file members at the center. Speaker after speaker said our power comes from our ability to disrupt. And to my pleasant surprise, more than one raised the thorny topic of union democracy.