Overtime Episode 25 PREVIEW – Rank and File Rebellions of the 1970s – Pt 3

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For the final part of our series on rank and file movements of the 1970s, we cover the movements formed by rank and file women workers to fight not only for better wages and conditions, but also to stop the entrenched culture of discrimination on the job. As millions of public sector workers joined unions, teachers, nurses and civil servants had bargaining rights for the first time. Along with flight attendants, nurses, and many other professions, women workers struggled successfully to not just win respect on the job, but to totally change public consciousness around women in the workforce. We also finish our run of rank and file stores with the Teamsters and the birth of the longest enduring organization from this era, Teamsters for a Democratic Union. Fighting against concession filled contracts for decades, the TDU has been a constant presence since this era in the struggle to democratize and reform the Teamsters. As the longest surviving and most successful union reform movement in the US labor movement, there is so much we can learn from the history of the TDU, and all the other inspiring struggles by the rank and file to stop the loss of all that prior generations of union workers had fought for.

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