Labor Focuses Strategically on the South
New article focuses on American labor organizations and their long term organizing strategy in the
Can the movement rebuild itself below the Mason-Dixon line, and change Southern politics in the process?
There is a very interesting article running right now in the American Prospect in which labor leaders talk about their organizing strategy for the southern United States. It’s a non-traditional approach, focusing on a localized effort establishing community partnerships and political alliances in five major cities.
Since that 2013 resolution, some signs of life have emerged from the Southern labor movement—not so much in workplace organizing, but in political victories at the municipal level. The AFL-CIO has targeted five Southern “mega-cities” as starting points for building up progressive power hubs. From the Piedmont to the Gulf Coast, emboldened by the surprising momentum of the Fight for $15, Southern cities are passing local wage ordinances in states that have no chance of getting the wage hiked at the state level. (Indeed, the five states with no minimum-wage laws are Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.) Labor strategists, accordingly, are looking toward the future, thinking carefully about how to translate rapidly shifting demographics into a new Southern political paradigm.