Alternative Futures for Labor
prospect.org — America’s unions and our allies must have the courage to acknowledge that the crisis we face cannot be met with old models and old tools. We must imagine an alternative future, even if we do not yet know what form it will take. We must embrace risk and failure as necessary elements of a long-term strategy for success. Unlike unions of the mid-20th century, today’s unions and their leaders won’t be remembered for the contracts they bargained, the strikes they led, or the workers they organized. Just as John L. Lewis is remembered today for creating a new kind of union, we’ll be remembered—or won’t be—for whether we had the vision to reallocate our resources and our talent on a massive scale to create a new model for worker advocacy, power, and organization that can give rise to an American middle class for the 21st century.