Labor Movement historian on how to revive the Labor Movement

Working Class Perspectives Executive Director Joseph McCartin discussed election matters regarding the United States Postal Service and how union sentiment has evolved over time on the Sept. 25 episode of America’s Work Force Union Podcast.

Aside from being the Executive Director at Working Class Perspectives, McCartin is a historian of the Labor Movement and Professor at Georgetown University.

Trust in the USPS ahead of the election

McCartin started by praising rank and file United States Postal Service (USPS) workers. He said he has faith in the workers, but not their leaders. He attributed his distrust of USPS leadership to Postmaster General DeJoy’s past behavior of promising bonuses to employees who donated to political candidates he favored.

Host Ed “Flash” Ferenc pointed out that democratic voters have been found to be twice as likely to vote by mail when compared to their Republican counterparts. From there, McCartin drew a correlation between people observing COVID-19 guidelines as being more likely to vote by mail.

Rebuilding the Labor Movement

McCartin later discussed two periods of time that have had different levels of union approval and favorability.

He said the time period from 1918 to 1968 was a positive time to be a member of the Labor Movement. He added that all of the movements were intertwined, creating a sense of unity for those out there fighting for better lives.

McCartin then contrasted this positive time for the Labor Movement to the following 50 years. He said anti-union sentiment was building up as a number of unions and strikes were busted. Although in recent years unions and the Labor Movement have seen a more positive outlook, he added.

In order to keep union favorability on the rise and keep the Labor Movement alive, McCartin said collective action is needed. He said unions need to go on the offensive and come together with other movements happening throughout the country in order to continue building that collective voice.


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