Winning in California… And You Can Too

Sierra Feldner-Shaw

In 2004, after a long string of Republican governors and the shockingly narrow defeat of Prop. 72—which would have ushered in the most progressive health care reform ever implemented in the United States—California labor leaders got mad. And then they got organized. 

“We said, we’re never going to lose that bad again—what do we have to do to change?” said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski, who moderated Wednesday’s AFL-CIO 2013 Convention panel discussion “Winning and Building Over Time: Winning in California and You Can, Too.

Why Labor Organizing Should be a Civil Right: Q&A with Moshe Marvit and Richard Kahlengerg

, by Moshe Z. Marvit and Richard D. Kahlengerg, was released last year to critical and academic acclaim but not nearly enough attention. The book, whose authors are both fellows at the progressive think tank the Century Foundation, lays out a simple, brilliant idea: to amend the Civil Rights Act so that it prohibits discriminating against workers for attempting to organize a union. 

We recently had a chance to pick the authors’ brains about the inspiration for the book, how the legislation would work and why this is an idea whose time has come.