Workers Unite!:: A Conversation with Ben Speight

Workers Unite!, Act 1

This March 2019 podcast is for anyone who teaches/studies social movements, movement building, labor history, union organizing, non-violent activism, social justice teaching, and direct action for social change! Hear Teamster Local 728 Organizing Director Ben Speight give an overview of union organizing and connections to our current times. He visited my REL/EDU 385: Religion, Education, and Activism class in February 2019 to plug us into the history of workers and why unions are still relevant more than ever.

Organizing for Change, Act 2

In Part 2 Ben Speight talks about the practices of “combing our forces” in the fight for worker justice. These current times require ever more coalition building and organized resistance to the status quo. Ben uses examples from his own decades of union organizing to show that “the people united will never be divided!”

Resources:

  • Arnold, Rick, Bev Burke, et al. Educating for a Change. Toronto: Between the Lines, 1991.
  • Brown, Adrienne Maree. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. AK Press, 2017.Brown, Michael Jacoby. Building Powerful Community Organizations. Arlington, MA: Long Haul Press, 2006.
  • Burke, Bev. Education for Changing Unions. Toronto: Between the lines, 2002.
  • Crass, Chris. Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy. PM Press, 2013.
  • Dixon, Chris. Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014.
  • Epstein, Barbara Epstein. Political Protest & Cultural Revolution: Nonviolent Direct Action in the 1970s and 1980s. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.
  • Interfaith Worker Justice: http://www.iwj.org/
  • Lopez, Tina and Barb Thomas. Dancing on Live Embers: Challenging Racism in Organizations. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2006.
  • Piven, Frances Fox and Richard A. Cloward. Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail. New York: Vintage Books, 1979.
  • Strength in Union article: https://teamster.org/magazine/2019/spring/strength-union

 

Theme music by Aviva and the Flying Penguins and Lance Eric Haugan.

Outro music on both Parts 1 and 2 by Paul Myhre, “Prayer for New Zealand” (2019) on reverbnation.com