Episode 97- Nelson Lichtenstein: The Battle for Labor Rights, Dignity and A Living Wage

Rik's Mind Podcast show

Summary: Today we are joined by Nelson Lichtenstein. Nelson is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he directs the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1966 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974. Thereafter he worked in publishing in New York and taught at The Catholic University of America and at the University of Virginia before joining the UCSB faculty in 2001. He is the author or editor of 16 books, including a biography of the labor leader Walter Reuther and State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (2002, 2013 revised). His most recent books are Achieving Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy (2016); The Port Huron Statement: Sources and Legacies of the New Left’s Founding Manifesto (2015); The ILO From Geneva to the Pacific Rim (2015);The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business (2009, 2010); The Right and Labor in America: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination (2012); A Contest of Ideas: Capital, Politics and Labor (2013); and American Capitalism: Social Thought and Political Economy in the Twentieth Century (2006). He has served on the editorial board of numerous journals and now is a member of the editorial board of the University of Illinois Press series in working-class history. As director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy, Lichtenstein and other UCSB faculty, including Alice O’Connor, Mary Furner, Eileen Boris and Stephen Weatherford, have created an interdisciplinary research and education initiative that hosts conferences and workshops that contribute to an understanding of the issues and ideas, past and present, illuminating the character of American capitalism and of the working class that sustains it. The Center administers an undergraduate minor in Labor Studies and a graduate-level Colloquium in Work, Labor, and Political Economy. Recent conferences, including “Beyond the New Deal Order” (2015), “The American Labor Movement: Crisis and Creativity” (2014), and “The Port Huron Statement at 50” (2012), are designed to probe historically resonate issues and help train a new generation of labor intellectuals. Professor Lichtenstein has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, the University of California, and from the Fulbright Commission and the Oregon Center for the Humanities. In 2008 he was elected to the Society of American Historians and in 2012 the Sidney Hillman Foundation awarded him its Sol Stetin Award for lifetime achievement in labor history. His reviews and opinion pieces have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Dissent, New Labor Forum, American Prospect, and academic journals. Reporters often seek is comments when they write on labor, politics, and supply chain issues. You can find more about Nelson on his Twitter @NelsonLichtens1. Show Notes: Nelson Lichtenstein | Department of History, University of California Santa Barbara @NelsonLichtens1 | Twitter The Making of the New Left | The New Yorker What Made the Battle of Blair Mountain the Largest Labor Uprising in American History | Smithsonian Magazine The Mine Wars (Documentary) | PBS The Significance of the Battle of Blair Mountain, 100 Years Later | The Appalachian Voice Majorities of adults see decline of union membership as bad for the U.S. and working people | Pew Research Center The Upstart Union Challenging Starbucks | The New Yorker @SBWorkersUnited | Twitter What Company Owns The Most Real Estate? | Prudential California Fredrickson, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation Case No. 1212-15734 | Starbucksoregonclassaction.com The Teamsters' new chief is readying UPS drivers for a strike as he heads toward contract negotiations — and key moves show he's not bluffing | Business Insider UPS Teamsters Kick Off Contract Fight | International Brotherhood of Teamsters Amazon Workers Are Organizing a Global Struggle | The Intercept ‘What Choice Do I Have?’ Freight Train Conductors Are Forced to Work Tired, Sick, and Stressed | Motherboad, Tech By Vice News Jimmy Hoffa: A closer look at the labor leader's life, work and disappearance | WDIV Local 4 Detroit U.S. Steel Tower | Official Website