Overtime Episode 16 PREVIEW – Why Rank and File? – Pt 2

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On the first episode of the series, we talked about the reasons why rank and file unionism, running your union in a democratic fashion, is so important to rebuilding the labor movement.  On our second episode, we dig into a few historical examples of rank and file organizing which demonstrate the power of these organizing methods.  First, we start out by discussing the history of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers, the UE.  The UE was started back in the 30s as a democratic union, and despite facing fierce attacks from business unionists and the US state, they have stayed true to their organizing methods for over 80 years.  Then, we discuss the history of the One Member, One Vote campaign, which was the result of decades of struggle for more democracy within the UAW.  Finally, we discuss a couple other real world examples of how rank and file methods can build real power on the jobsite and sum up with how these methods can be the foundation for a revival of the US labor movement as a base for a class conscious movement.  In the final part of the series, we will discuss a few more major examples of rank and file organizing from the Chicago Teachers Union and the Industrial Workers of the World.

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