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We’ve talked about the importance of unions being organized and run in a “rank-and-file” manner a million times on the show, but we hadn’t really had a good opportunity to sit down and layout exactly what that means. On this episode, we discuss what exactly rank-and-file unionism is, what it is not, and why it’s so vital if we want to build effective organizations that will fight for the working class. We go through counter examples of Consumer Co-ops, ESOPs, and the methodology used for many bureaucratically run unions here in the US, Business Unionism. We finish off by discussing a short guide to rank-and-file organizing used by communists during the Depression, Organizing Methods in the Steel Industry by William Z Foster, and how that methodology is still relevant today. On part two of this series, we will discuss several examples of rank and file unionism in practice in more detail.
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