Hailed as a major victory for conservatives seeking to reduce collective-bargaining rights, the recent Supreme Court ruling in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 has worsened the already precarious position occupied by American unions. Formerly ranked in the top tier of nations for collective-bargaining rights by the International Trade Union Confederation, the United States is currently in the fourth of five tiers, alongside Argentina and Peru. As mainstream political support for labor causes has dried up, traditional methods of labor activism have been constrained, leaving workers all the more vulnerable to exploitation. In his September cover story “Labor’s Last Stand,” Garret Keizer explores how the labor movement, from union representatives, to grassroots activists, is fighting to secure “a place at the table” for American workers.
In this episode, author and Harper’s contributing editor Keizer joined Web Editor Violet Lucca to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by today’s workforce (unionized or not), and the future of the American labor movement.