Today, unions make up only 10.5% of the workforce in the U.S. Wages have been stagnant since the 1970s and living standards have been declining for just as long. Housing and healthcare costs continue to rise, public transit and infrastructure continue to crumble, and more and more working people are only an emergency away from bankruptcy. A good life seems to recede further toward the horizon, further out of reach for workers. Why is this the case and how have we gotten here? What can regular working people do to come together and stand up for a country that works for all of us?
Join EBDSA’s Labor Committee on as we read A Short History of the U.S. Working Class: From Colonial Times to the Twenty-First Century by Paul LeBlanc and look into the history of the struggles and achievements of the working class majority as we have fought for our ability to live full, dignified, developed lives in the face of a dehumanizing drive for profit. We will seek to understand why employers appear to be so singularly united against unions, how appeals to racism among other oppressions have divided working people from coming together to fight for their shared interests, and what happened to the militant labor leaders and socialists that drove the labor movement and working class forward from the 1870s through World War II.
We will be launching the reading group on Sunday, October 6th. In this meeting, we will put participants into reading groups of six to eight people, distribute books (for a small suggested donation), and talk about what we hope to get out of our reading. Participants should expect to read roughly 37 pages per week for a four week period. After the four week period, we will meet back up as a large group to share our thoughts and perspectives on the reading and on labor today.
Accessibility Information: Entrance and bathroom are wheelchair accessible