Unions, Politics, and Socialism

November 29, 2018

Unions play a contradictory role in advancing a progressive agenda, and nowhere is this more true than in electoral politics.

Despite decades worth of betrayals by the Democratic Party, unions are the party's most loyal foot soldiers and some of its biggest donors — even for candidates that are tepid at best when it comes to working-class issues. When the politician who fought harder for the working class than anyone we've seen in our lifetimes, Bernie Sanders, sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, almost the entire labor movement lined up behind his corporate-funded opponent Hillary Clinton. The same has been true for other candidates backed by the Left since Sanders, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cynthia Nixon. While some progressive unions supported Jovanka Beckles — a democratic socialist and champion of unions and the working class — in her 2018 campaign against billionaire-funded, centrist Democrat Buffy Wicks, many other unions backed Wicks.

Why does labor seem to make these wrongheaded decisions over and over? And how should socialists respond to them? Join East Bay DSA and Jacobin editor Micah Uetricht for a discussion on how socialists should approach unions and electoral politics.

Micah Uetricht is based in Chicago and is the managing editor of Jacobin. He is the author of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity and is currently working on a book about socialism and Bernie Sanders. He writes frequently about the US labor movement.

Venue opens at 6:30 p.m. Talk to begin promptly at 7 p.m.


When: November 29, 2018, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Where: Oakstop 274 14th St, Oakland, CA, 94612
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