Labor Rising

There's been some good chatter on MyDD about the future of the netroots as we head into 2008.  Jerome put out an interesting piece on how local blogospheres are growing, and Chris has talked amply about 2008 and the netroots.  For my money, the most interesting piece of netroots development that I'm hoping to see is an alliance between labor and the progressive blogs.  When you think about it, labor and the netroots have a lot in common.  We're both frustrated at the skewed power dynamics in this country, and we are both working to restore accountability to our political and economic elites, because we see them as disconnected from American society at large.  We're both by and large supportive of Democrats, but we also have independent power centers outside of the party and want to hold Democrats accountable.  They pump huge amounts of money into campaigns, we pump some money into campaigns.  And we're all organizing ourselves to inject our voices into the political process.

A genuine alliance alliance between labor and the netroots should be a terrifying prospect to reactionary insiders, because labor brings scale and resources and we bring innovation and speed.  I'm not sure what such an alliance would look like, but I'm curious to watch over the next few years.  

One way to think about unions and the netroots is to understand that the funding mechanisms of the right are mirrored in their authoritarian and cruel corporate structures.  Taylor Marsh is blogging about a labor dispute in Las Vegas, where nurses were locked out of a hospital because they were unable to come to a contract resolution.  The point of dispute was not money, but staffing; nurses are complaining that it is simply dangerous to allocate too many patients to any specific nurse.  In response, Universal Health Services simply locked out the nurses and brought in replacements.

This is not a strike, it's a lockout.  The Governor-elect, the Speaker-elect, and the County Commission Chairman called for a 30 cooling-off period to continue negotiations, and the SEIU nurses agreed.  The company did not, and arrogantly locked out their employees and brought in replacements.  It's really no-holds barred in Las Vegas, but the fight is very clear.  SEIU nurses want to do their job, United Health Services wants to allow more patients to die so the company can make more money.  If you know anything about United Health Services, put it in the comments.  

This labor fight is being blogged.

Tags: Las Vegas, Nevada, nurses, SEIU (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

Re: Labor Rising

Union people vote and work to elect Democrat, and Unions work for the benefit of all workers, its a partnership made in political heaven.

by doughnutman 2006-12-04 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Labor Rising

Hear hear.  We are both rabble rousers, with a shared economic agenda.  We empower and organize people who would not otherwise have a voice.  The alliance is particularly strong here on MyDD and I am glad to see people educating themselves on unions and labor issues.  We need each other.  Labor brings the ground troops and bloggers the media.

The local blogosphere development is crucial too.  I like to do both, but that is just me ;)

by juls 2006-12-04 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Labor Rising

Matt,

Excellent post.  A unification of the labor movement with the netroots will be a kickass combination.  

Wow...

by global yokel 2006-12-04 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Labor Rising

Matt,

Thinking about this a bit more, perhaps a Labor/Netroots conference along the lines of Yearly Kos would be a good way to get the ball rolling...

by global yokel 2006-12-04 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Labor Rising

Solidarity!

That's right Matt, we could create a heck of a movement. But it's going to take a two-fold effort: We have to educate the labor unions in general about the Netroots, and teach the Netroots about labor unions.

But let's not just talk about it. Let's make a plan. 08 is right around the corner.

by Teamsters 2006-12-04 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Labor Rising
Very nicely said Matt. It's important for the progressive movement to fight for the large swath of the electorate that's fighting for a living wage. We also run across many of the same issues with the corporate media.
by Kombiz Lavasany 2006-12-04 07:51PM | 0 recs

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