First week at Strikewave

This week marks my first since being asked to join The Strikewave as an editorial board member. I’m extremely proud of the work we published the past few days:

  • First, we published this piece from Matt Bernico, about how the National Labor Relations Board should interpret church affiliations when it comes to unions at religious institutions, like Augsburg University, an Evangelical Lutheran school in Minnesota.

  • Then, I did this Q&A with Kenzo Shibata, a member of the Chicago Teachers Union, about why Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan for reopening schools is wrongheaded, for families and teachers alike. Something I learned during the course of interviewing is that due to a 1995 law, the Mayor of Chicago appoints the Chicago Board of Education.

  • This article Chas Walker did, about how unions are leading the effort to educate frontline workers about COVID vaccines.

  • Another Q&A my fellow Strikewave member Brendan O’Connor did with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades’s Jimmy Williams about how the PRO Act would overhaul and transform current labor law in favor of workers.

What I’m most proud of is this piece Connor Lewis wrote (and I helped edit), about the factors that led up to a group of workers at a Central Valley poultry plant decertifying their union. (Connor also writes a newsletter, The House Red, that I subscribe to and learn a lot from.)

Myriad factors, such as a worker-hostile Trump NLRB, pressure from facility management, high COVID rates, 12 worker deaths, and a ruthless culture of fear of immigration enforcement seems to have contributed to the decertification. It’s worth noting that turnout among workers for this effort was low.

I started keeping a monthly list of what books I read. In January, I read 6 books, ending with Brendan’s Blood Red Lines: How Nativism Fuels The Right, which I recommend. Currently reading Ian Cobain’s Anatomy of a Killing, about a significant IRA killing during the Troubles.