Newsletter #81: Send Us Your Questions! Continue the Discussion on a New Labor Movement with Alex Press and Eric Blanc

By Ben Mabie

We’re continuing to pilot a new feature for The Dig newsletter, the Listeners’ Mailbag. Here’s how it works. This weekend, we posted our latest episode, a detailed interview guest-hosted by Jacobin editor Micah Uetricht with Jacobin labor reporter Alex Press and labor scholar and activist Eric Blanc, two writers chronicling this remarkable moment in the American labor movement. From now until next Friday, September 15, at 11:59 PM ET, you can share your thoughts and outstanding queries in the comments below this post on our Patreon. We’ll bundle up some of the best questions and pass them onto Alex and Eric, then deliver their answers in the form of a newsletter shortly afterwards. We’ll be selecting exclusively from comments on Patreon.

Are you an organizer looking to bring the material back to your own projects and experience? Do you want the guests to ask you to sketch out the theoretical coordinates of a particular argument they make on the episode? Did some part of the conversation leave you wanting reading suggestions in a particular area? Does anything just not make sense?

If you like the episode, trawl through the vast Dig Archives. There are plenty of interviews tightly linked to the themes explored in this one, particularly Uetricht’s other guest-hosted episodes on the labor movement. Last spring, longtime organizer Jane McAlevey surveyed the thinking and organizing behind all her books, distilling their insights for how we can build fighting unions. Labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein put our moment in its proper context with a roaming conversation of his analysis of the changing commanding heights of industry and the people who have struggled against its power, from Walter Ruether to Walmart workers. Finally, Daisy Pitkin, an organizer with Workers United, discussed her lyrical memoir of organizing in southwestern laundry plants On the Line, the tensions between staff and the rank and file, and the cultural power of solidarity.