Skip to main content

tv   BOOK TV  CSPAN  March 27, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

10:00 am
they went to the high school. they offered assistance snacks for the next 30 days and had to choose the specs today. they chose 30 snacks now for the next 30 days. lots of stack. then the other half was asked to choose every day of the month what snack they want to have today. it turns out that this packet as
10:01 am
much more likely to go for variety. even if chocolate bar is your favorite snack. you cannot imagine people want to a chocolate bar 30 times in a row. but for us on this side of the room, every morning we are like chocolate, chocolate. it turns out it's like portfolio management. if you are more than one at a time, if you hire five, then it's much more likely to merge because it comes obvious you don't want to five that look identical. that's one thing to change. we make three decision at the same time but i do think that are practical lessons that i talk about in the book. another one count to fight before ever call anyone. that's the cheap one. it does work because some hands but more much more easily so sometimes counting helps. so with that, thank you very
10:02 am
much for your questions and thank you for your attention. [applause] >> thank you all for coming. if you don't have a cup of the book yet you can bring your copies back here to sign. [inaudible conversations] >> is for a nonfiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail, booktv that tweet us at booktv or post a comment on of allom under
10:03 am
>> we are joined by author luther campbell.of te f here's the book my fight for truth justice liberty city.berty ci what and where is liberty city? >> liberty city is probably about 10 minutes away from here on 58thh and 10th avenue right in the heart where i was raised at.and 62nd you know martin luther king boulevard. right for liberty city is. >> what is it? >> what is it? it's a historical black neighborhood. like a pop in my book. it's a neighborhood in which black folks are mere when we first moved here when we first came your everybody lived in overtown and we eventually into struggling into liberty city where i-95 was cut right through the african-american community.
10:04 am
so my dad like a partner in the book was one of the first persons to purchase a home there. they didn't know he was a black man when he came, showed a. it obligate a deposit at the end of day when the sun shall provide we didn't know we were selling to a black guy. he eventually ended up moving into one of the first guys to move in to the inner city spent a deposit went from $52,500 overnight? >> exactly, exactly. >> what is trying to? >> two live crew is a group that eventually got into do i start out dj early on a micro. i was immobile dj around here in miami and the guys came down just every other band that was struggling, were not getting paid royalties. so we said look we want to do songs where we will get a. i said i'll help you. i just want you to help me out
10:05 am
because i want you to do a song that i created, edited a song -- remember that song? it was a great dance. eventually i went from that point doing an album and -- >> rap music? >> yes. first hip-hop song done in the south. and from there we started and greater hip-hop in the south. >> what is relationship between two live crew and the supreme court? >> two live crew and the supreme court. two live crew ended up getting in the supreme court in my case between -- it was something i think i do happen. was destined to happen because hip-hop at that period of time was under attack by you name it and will governor martinez in the state of georgia, my friend
10:06 am
judge gonzales, federal judge in broward county. you name it everybody was after hip-hop at the time. >> what -- was at a first time in the case in the supreme court speak with yes. it was a parody case originally. it was to cases that talk about in the book. one obviously the one that i went to the supreme court i think the most, the case that my lawyer overturned and the fourth district court of appeals. no not the fourth district, the court of appeals where i was the authenticity case -- obscenity case. judge gonzales originally said that the music was obscene and went to go back and get it overturned because the music that you write out they would've been told different. spin at one point you write in your book try not that you were worth about $100 million.
10:07 am
>> yes. >> was the money did it come easy? >> well, did the money come easy? not really. it was tough. it was tough. just like biggie smalls says more money, more problems. the more money i got the more problems i got. i tried to higher good people good tax attorneys attorneys, general counsel have built my corporation. but when you read in the book most of those people, those were people i did put him and he stole me in my opinion. so it was company was difficult to make money but it was hard to keep the money. >> was your work as part of two live crew was a graphic? >> my work, my work was not graphic i think the work the other members could have been considered as graphic but i think they are right, to their
10:08 am
artistic doubts as well as free speech but when you listen to record and to listen to the lyrics that i wrote it was totally different. but i was stupid to take responsibility everything that's put out and given up to the general public spent from your book, "the book of luke" at the end of the day there's one simple reflect hip-hop historians and journalists don't give me the credit i can do. it's because of uncle luke. who was uncle luke? >> uncle luke, my mom and dad raised luther campbell. she raise all the but of the four brothers, all these guys pretty much rocket scientists. navy pilot, comptroller of major plants. me you know i was a young guy, the baby of the family. would read and heard all those guys complain about money that they need for college or whether
10:09 am
they were in the armed services and felt like they're being mistreated because they were black. particularly my third oldest brother, when he was in the navy. i don't think he ever got any leave because he was trying to be a father. i ended up dj'g, becoming uncle luke. uncle luke became cummins originally luke skywalker then george lucas sued me. i was dj luke skywalker. now i look out for my community. i try and do the right thing for everybody. >> so was uncle luke a stage persona in a sense of?
10:10 am
>> yeah yeah, no doubt about it. luke you have luke campbell luke and uncle luke. so luke on stage was a guy that gave the people what they wanted. if you listen to record, it was our responsibility to go and give people what they want other than going into a concert or situation and toning it down at times a particular time. and other records as more secure but pushed back, we pushed back and the records got a little more graphic. then we wanted to become but we are in this thing called fighting for free speech spent the fight for two live crew speaks blessed lyric literature like was never really about the lyrics. it'd been about the principle of fighting for the right to do the same thing white artist did without legal harassment and censorship. >> when i look at it again, i
10:11 am
only operate in myself. i look at artists like lee were still at and esther, you name it these guys then you looked at people like andrew dice clay. those guys already on record, i'll really a philly with major record labels. they were not getting their records take it off the shelf. so i look down from the standpoint of saying i'm a hip-hop artist can't i own my own record company i am an easy target for the government and i just said look, if of god to take all my irony -- my money i earn to buy for free speech for hip-hop then i will do that. >> what are you doing today? >> there's movies and helping my wife out with nfl agency and restaurants. i'm just happy doing helping
10:12 am
out with the committee. >> how did you get involved in being a defense coordinator for a miami high school? >> my passion has always been football. i ended up going to miami beach high playing football. i always said when my career dies down that i will go back to my youth and help out. i started coaching and ended up coaching. now got some great players in the nfl whether it's kerry williams dante friedman is going to be up with the redskins and you know, duke johnson, we've got quite a few kids in the lead male. but the most important one is the one that came out of my program is the city commission of one of most important areas, which is this area as well. i'm happy to find all of them
10:13 am
speaking let's bring it all back to liberty city your career, the trajectory, what you went through. was pure with liberty city now? >> my roll with liberty city is to try you know to stay it and just everything i possibly can to help the people who do not have a voice. whatwhen i look at politics in liberty city and miami in general, other than our black elected officials, our own black special interest groups that don't have an interest of the african-american people here in south florida. my job is to stay here and fight, fight for them fight for the school, fight for jobs, you know, the unemployment rate is horrible. every day is a challenge of taking their property and putting condoms on their
10:14 am
property every day. that's one of the reasons i'm happy i did move to hollywood when others doing movies and happy i did move to new york. very, very successful in the music industry and stay here and fight for my people. >> you talking about with the fact he ran for mayor at one point. >> you. >> how did you do speak what i did do. i came in fourth place. i came in first place with all the living voters. i came in fourth place with all the dead voters. and the living people i came in first place but the dead people i came in second. >> you got 11% of the vote overall. you also talk about how you look at it as one miami. has that anyway and achieve? >> it's still a struggle
10:15 am
because, from the outside looking in, the people of miami want one miami. there's not a day that goes by that semi-latin friends or jewish friends you name it came to be and see what can we do to help these communities ask what we do to help these schools? not a day that goes by when you see folks. doesthere's much more to politicians that are controlled by the special interest groups. those are the ones who try to great is a diversion and the separation of our town. we have some great people here in miami and the people, they want one miami and i think that's going to be my slogan, one miami. >> in your book, "the book of luke," you talk about the fact that the explicit lyrics labeled that's put on that was put on a lot of albums and cds, you are partially responsible but it was
10:16 am
a put out into the white kids started buying rap music explicit rap music it is okay you say when black kids reminded. >> you. just like i say we've been going on in the book i talk about it in detail because i want people to know what i was going through, figure out why i was going through all of this controversy. why is the government and vice president and tipper gore and everybody was coming after me. i went outside to start thinking about about, okay, hip-hop has been around. you know rock 'n roll is being phased out a little bit. a lot of white kids in this community. that's when the controversy came. we ended up on tipper gore's list, al gore's wife, the top 10 bad guys. so at the time i just figured that's what it was really all about. it was all about white kids
10:17 am
navigating the music. .. it's still happening today. i just think the book is so important for you to read from a historical standpoint. >> explicit lyrics inside. use the book, the book of luke. luther campbell is the author. >> when i tune into it on the
10:18 am
weekends the usual its authors sharing their new releases. >> watching a nonfiction authors on booktv is the best television for serious readers. >> they can have a longer conversation and delve into their subject. >> booktv weekends they bring the author after author after author. >> i loved booktv and a c-spanugh as ty fan. to >> the u.s. has been involved in the war in afghanistan for more than 12 years at oure th next author, retired army staff sergeant travis mills of theor 82nd airborne was one of those soldiers who sacrificed limb and nearly his li fe defending his country against terrorism. during his third tour an ied blast cost him nearly everything. he is one of only five soldiersfi from the wars in afghanistan and iraq who survivedaf a quadruple amputation.wi
10:19 am
through willpower and endurance and no small amount of faith sergeant mills has been more than service. he has lived in many ways more than most. a list by the creed never give up, never quit. he swims, dances with his wifebis an christ bikes and tries his daughter to school every day.. of course, except for those days when his inspiring folks like us. i want you to know that he is he h really a better introduction for himself and only can do that. so i'm very blessed and honored to welcome travis mills. [applause] >> thank you so much. thank you. thank you. awesome. please have a seat. thanks for those kind words. that was a great introduction.
10:20 am
only thing i said or did he wass tel i tell people in every come to see me, just ask them come whatd se doe you call a guy with no arms cal a g and legs in the ocean? bob. on the wall?arms o art.bob here. today, travis mills. nice meeting you guys. [applause] you guys. let me start off with my thank you to the savannah book festival. thanks for having me. my father in law and brother drove down so we are happy. the hosts are the most phenomenal people. if you don't know them you need to. a couple things about me everybody needs to know. one, i am awesome. two i am humble. in that order. you get the idea there?
10:21 am
i have pretty cool tricks. yup. and i wrote a book so i'm an author too. what? [applause] >> i know you are not supposed to read from your book so luckily i didn't bring one up on stage. i was told not to do that. they said don't do that. this book "tough as they come," documents what happened to me my family and what why did to get through it. but random house took a chance on me. random house publishing, crown, penguin took a chance on me telling my story and i was able to tell it in a positive way. i am not a pity story. i live life to the fullest and i am thankful for being alive. i have been able to do some pretty cool things with this being on the top of the list. being here is awesome. i want to express my gratitude for everybody that serves.
10:22 am
the first thing you will read is thank you for your service if you served. i didn't serve anymore or harder than anybody else. i just had a case of the mondays. rough day at work. bomb. oh no monday. the next thing it says is i don't think my problems are worse than anybody elses. we have thinks to deal with. visual visually i like different. if i catch you starring i know what you are going to do. but it is a train wreck so you wait for me to look away. oh, no he caught me. everybody thinks i am a great person which most days i am. i am not above anyone else. the worst thing i did with this injury is a little seven year old was looking at me drinking a subway cup, she looks and keeps starring i didn't want to be
10:23 am
starred out and her mom looked in. and i leaned in and said you know who did this to me? the boogie man under our bed or the monster in the closet. it gets worse. i said and they are coming for you next. granted i don't know if i would do that again. well, no if i didn't do it in the first place i still would. it is a great story. but no "tough as they come" documents everything. let me tell you a little about myself. i am from michigan. go blue. anyone from ohio? it is impressive it takes ohio with two people. someone says oh you think of ohio. michigan is an eight letter world and i can tell it for you. 18 years old i went to play a little bit of college football. i had a girlfriend who vinced me
10:24 am
i should move home and thought it was a great idea. i met her boyfriend collin randomly. i wasn't supposed to. he was a secret. it got awkward after that. so i joined the military in 2006 and i was in basic training in fort benning georgia. i wanted to come back as it was the only time i was here. i hated coleslaw. all they wanted me to do was eat it and i could not say no. sorry, it takes me back there. i went to fort brags in north carolina and served three deployments. my first deployment i met a girl here on my space, i know crazy, and we decided -- she was 18 and i was 20 -- that we were going to mexico first time we ever met. i have a little girl -- i would
10:25 am
kill that man. but luckily my brother-in-law who was my a medic overseas, chased me with a knife and wanted to kill me. how do you get a medic who wants to kill you when he is a medic? we got married shortly after and i only took four showers that year -- by choice. all right. you guys are with me. we are still doing this. a lot of fighting, came back bought a house had a baby -- well my wife had the baby. i was part of the process but we will not get into that. nobody? okay. whatever. i will keep going. i just talk. my wife gets really annoyed at me by it. but on my third deployment you guys can probably guess i was wrestling sharks and -- not at all what happened actually. stepped on a bomb.
10:26 am
became a triple amputee right away. two days later they cut my left hand off and on april 14th 2012 i woke up for the first time in germany who my brother-in-law who is in the room and explains what happened. and my mom and dad's favorite day of the year this day because their middle child was born. me. let me tell you about the process. first kid was born whoops, let's try it again. that is my older sister. not that great. next kid, me perfection. right? no it was. and then they were like let's have another one. third kid -- whoops. let's drag these two along until 17 and the middle is our favorite. they will not admit that but it is definitely true in my eyes. but, no i hit a bomb had to recover. on april 17th i went to walter
10:27 am
reed, on april 18th i told her to take everything we had and go. i had a four month old at the time. i said i will support you anyway i can. i will pay for everything you need but i cannot -- i don't know what to do about this and she said that is not how this works. she wanted that close parking. yeah, no. she is like you are going to try to deprive me of close parking? i am part of the vip team. little blue tag! front row wherever i go. i love it. you know i said you saw me on facebook you might have saw i stepped on a bomb for $10. i came out ahead. if you didn't see that you will come across it maybe. no i am thankful for the opportunities i have. my recovery was 19 months long. the first thing for my first wok out was i got in an argument
10:28 am
with my doctors and said i wanted to work out and they said i couldn't. there is a wheelchair next to my bed. a powered one. i was trying to make a statement. i went over to my occupational therapy and after four hours of calling him every half hour he let me lay on the table and stretch out and i fell asleep for 20 minutes. best regimen every. i keep it to this day. check it out. and i do karaoke. i can step up here and ramble and tell jokes. first time i met george bush i was so nervoused i pulled a forest gump.
10:29 am
i was like i am so nervous i could pee right now. as i am leaving to go to the library walks ms. bush. and she said you are coming in. had you are you? i love your work barbara. and she said the name is laura. no i didn't mess that up really. maybe i did? i don't know. but i really am very appreciative of the exposure i get. i tell people it is all about perspective with me. people wonder how i have such a good attitude and keep smiling and i have had a lot of friends not make it back home. if you are in the service you know what i am talking about. seven months after i was hit my
10:30 am
buddy got hit in a hum vee and all five people died. he had a three year old and a wife. he will never hold his wife's hand again, take his daughter to school or see his mother for the holidays. i think it would be selfish if i didn't keep going forward. i have the ability to take my daughter to school go to the gym, take my wife on dates. nobody wants to hang out with me because i lost my arms and legs -- that is a joke. the book is near-time best seller. khloe kardashian is beating me in my bracket right now. and i am all about winning. we can do it all together. remember when you buy "tough as they come" we are beating khloe kardashian.
10:31 am
so let's only talk for 20 minutes. if you have questions nothing offends me. i am setting the precedents. ask whatever you want. no? okay. keep going. the book is not politically based. it has an underlining tone of faith but i didn't push it. it is about overcoming what happened to me. surgery, nine doctors seven nurses and two nurses are seven hours pumped air into my lungs. i met 6-9 doctors and thanked them for their service and what they did for me and my family. i don't considered myself wounded. i have scars awesome scars. ladies i am married.
10:32 am
gentlemen i am married. i am sorry. i have had really need experiences. i am a peer mentor and people through situations. i run a non-profit that was supposed to start off just giving care packages overseas. they want peppered beef jerky, peanut m&m's and orbit gum. as the president, i don't pay myself and i will never pay myself or board members a salary. we bring people up to maine, where we live, which by the way i am grateful to go in the south. we raised about $900,000 and we can bring families up for 12 weeks of summer more like eight but whatever, we are doing great things. check out
10:33 am
i guess i will take questions now if anybody has any. if you don't, it will hurt my nyone wonders why i am dressed like this think about if you take these legs off they are pants. yeah i know. that is a long sleeve right there. any questions on how this works? >> when you want to take questions you have to call on somebody and force them -- >> you have a question? yes ma'am what is your
10:34 am
question. >> you and i have met before and shared a commander in chief. i wonder if you could tell everybody more about meeting president bush when you came back. and also a little bit about your foundation. it is doing great work and there is a lot of different foundations doing great work but what do you think would be the best way to try to streamline that work so we are reaching the most amount of wounded warriors who need our help because it feels like some are falling through the cracks. >> president bush is thankful for our service and took the sacrifices are being hard. he hung out until i said i have to go sir. and he said you don't have to go but i said no i have other plans.
10:35 am
he is helping with moral. we brought all of the non-profits together to fix things. my website has a bunch i am a believe in. separate five fund and garrison niece by the way if you text him, he does a lot of emojis. i am an ambassador for him. in new york city i just walked a 5-k, and this is five months after my exposure. i fall on the ground. a body guard picks me up and he is trying to help me stand and he is doing the heimlich. and my legs don't lock unless someone does it.
10:36 am
then i said buy me dinner this is getting awkward. ... their waterproof which means a lock them in a driving load at a drive with my feet which i learned in maryland is completely illegal. that's the truth. i just got my license in may at a been there for over a year. i'm friends with all the cops. it's no big deal. but the va is really great. i'm not on any medication. you find it in my story about nation30th i experimental i was on, second in the nation, 30th in the world.
10:37 am
i quit all my medication six months in. eye prosthetics get done somewhere else.somewhere they support me up there in maine.a and negative stories i hear i don't see that were i i have nothing but great things to say about them, walter reed.. keep paying your taxes. sometimes the joke work i psychologist. it really doesn't. [inaudible question] >> from the time you were wounded how quick my were you med-evacked. >> i was at 4:30, within ten minutes i had a helicopter there so my medic and i platoon sergeant put tourniquets on me reside -- residual limbs. the left leg was hanging off
10:38 am
and my left hand was there pinky and ring finger were gone and my wrist blown off. i was on the ground with my left side of my face and i rolled over and looked and said this is horrible. what do i do? i just hit a bomb. i need my medic. my medic came running up, told them to leave me areason and save my guys. i wasn't suicidal. i thought there's no way i'm going to make this itch i wasn't going to go out crying. he said let me do my job. fixed me up and within ten minutes i was in a helicopter. from there rushed into surgery. kept trying to sit up on the bed, telling the door -- doctors i can get back up. and i thought i would never see my little girl again because she was months old. from that time to after the surgery i was shift to bagram afghanistan, then to germany on the 13th we arrived and i woke
10:39 am
up on the birthday to find out what happened to me, happen 25th. we sent to the states on the 17th. and then five weeks into the explosion i was outpatient. had me left hand put on and seven weeks and four day is was taking my first steps around walter reed. so i was very fortunate in my recovery. [applause] >> thank you. >> i'm jamie nichols. i'm an ohio girl in savannah and i understand you like -- i wonder if we could help you get set up. >> i hate to admit this. i have to get to miami but i would love that. something, i don't know about the ghost stories. my wife doesn't watch scary movies so i'm stuck by myself watching them. so scary. i can't run away. my leg is usually off so that's okay. that would be great. i plan on coming back with my wife and showing her this great
10:40 am
city. >> the hotel conference, the con -- glad to hook you up with the ghost scare. >> i appreciate that. am i going get scared? >> one trip josh, he didn't trip you, or she? no. whatever. okay. thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> happy valentine's day. >> aim married but thank you. >> i'm married, too. i wanted to find out -- you don't get paid through your foundation so you make money from selling books or how too you -- >> selling books speaking. i'm also retired from military so i do that. so we have a different -- couple different avenues to make sure i can take care of my family, but as far as the foundation that's correct all about giving back. never want to take a salary. we have to pay our staff but the
10:41 am
board members never get paid. it's all about giving back. some foundations need to but this one we don't. [applause] >> another buckeye. >> the worst. >> we're going gang up on you. and you know your coach at the university of michigan is a buckeye. i can keep going. anyway first -- >> made a great switch, then, obviously. there's more presidents from ohio than anywhere else? >> that's correct. >> they want to change the world they had it so bad. [laughter] >> on a serious note on behalf of everyone here ex-i'd like to thank you for everything you have done for this country. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. [applause] >> thank you. i appreciate that. i was just fortunate to serve my
10:42 am
country. i love my job. i would never get blown up again but would still sign up for the army. it was a great ride, and i am happy with the way the government takes care of my medical needs and my family and things like that, my retirement and my wife and stuff like that. so we have been blessed with living in a great nation. >> not to keep blowing smoke, but also -- >> build me up. i love it. >> miss perino said earlier i'm really impressed be the fact of your foundation and you take nothing, especially after reading a recent "new york times" piece about the wounded warriors program and how little money is going the warriors versus what is helping make it go. but my big question is, do you have another book? >> not right at the moment. we're thinking of what i can do for the next book. aim a mentor with a lot of ptsd guys in the army. i take a different spin on it so we're thinking of a hard truth
10:43 am
bit or fitness by forecasts, where we eat a lot of cheesecake. some barbecue and then figure out how we can make this our diets. spoiler alert. never works out. except for happiness that's what you get when you eat cheesecake and barbecue. we're work that out right now. maybe you get excited and we'll have a movie and then you can play me in the movie. you look like -- you got it? you stand in the mirror and flex and then eventually it comes. i actually ripped my skin open lifting weights. now it's my soon to be girlfriend, i never met in person, so i had to look good. not the brightest guy right here. i got a truck big enough where i couldn't get into it from the ground. i had to put run can boards on it to get into it. idiot. i know. no one claimed i was the
10:44 am
smartest but i love chess. who wants to play me in chess? let me no. i'm that good. just kidding. i'm trying to hustle you out of money. >> i have a couple questions. just because i didn't introduce you the way you wanted me to. >> you nailed it. i was just giving you options. >> all right. as you travel for speaking engagements, to different states what are the best ways you see communities helping local vets? >> having vet centers getting where they have job fairs and they understand what the veterans have done overseas and understand their jobs in the military and how they can plug them into society and having resource officers that are veterans that know what the balance is between the militarys' civilian life. when people get out you would never guess i had great custodial duties. i could cut grass like nobody's
10:45 am
business, with scissors. management skills. i was in charge of 700 lives and told them where to go and how to do it and if it made a mistake it was their life on the line. so how somebody knows military speak and i have seen communities in the u.s. trying to do that more and get veterans back to work and understand how to plug them in. >> can i ask you another? >> you got it. everybody is like, oh, my gosh, aim going to catch what he has some. >> we talked about that the foundation is raising funds for national retreats. are there other foundation projects going on? >> right now we're doing the programming for -- to raise 2.7 to have programming for five years. kayaking, boating tubing fishing bro -- pro bass and they catch fish. we want to build a network that people can get back out there and do things and chris everyday
10:46 am
activities with their families because i do it every day, but someone might be less inclined to try something new if they're not around people in the same situation. so the foundation is very -- has been very helpful in showing people what they can still achieve and building confidence. we have had two proof of concepts which made us decide that this was a direction we wanted to go, and we had four families and then we had seven families come up to maine, the last two years and just been such a great support from everybody around maine and the nation, plus the people that get to come benefit from it, can go away a skill, they can go and do things. we don't just show them how to do and it send them home. we give them tools to night their own house and their own area. i'm out there hopefully encouraging people, and they know they can call me if they have an issue or problem. the wives are in this together. my wife and i text messages with six other wives. they talk about nothing in general.
10:47 am
they're all bling bling bling. i'm like, it's 11:00, but she said, daniel danielle and page sis this -- i'm like this, stop. that the right ones. good style. it's a joke. well it's not. i really do -- impressed. i was just trying to tell jokes to keep everybody entertained. uh-oh. he found me last night so i know it's coming. >> an easy one. we spoke last night, and i know your agent pretty well. i wondered just share with the audience the process of how you sold the book and your reaction when it actually was sold. >> absolutely. so we went to a couple meetings where we had five meetings scheduled, random house, and simon some schuster and other big names and went to random
10:48 am
house and my literary agent said there will be one or two people here to interview. i walked in the room and there was seven elm he said don't talk to fast, which you can tell i do already. when i shake people's hand is tell them, our, it hurts or i spin it in a circle. and he said don't do your slapstick humor and i did. he said don't talk too long. we were there for an hour. and then i left and when i crossed the street, and as he was telling me what i did wrong, we got an offer to talk all the other offers own the table. i said what did i do wrong? he said literally everything but you can get away with it. i play golf and my handicap -- that's how it went. when i went to another meeting the next day i met with the sales force and with barnes & noble and amazon and walmart, and a bunch of other people. no one liked me until i cried,
10:49 am
and then they said whatever. want to have your book. it was pretty cool process seeing how it comes together. took eight to nine months in total with editing and revisions and i had someone help me with my writing because -- i used to be right-handed. now i'm left. but it's a fun process. the worst part before the the process is when i had to narrate it. that was the worst three days of my life. nine hours a day in a hot booth. talking too fast. it was a fun process and looking forward to future projects with random house or anybody that wants to partner up and see what we can do. >> i'm originally -- my name is m.j. learner and i'm originally from michigan. >> that's right. >> wolverines. >> that's right. go blue. i get it i-i'm al from maine and i heard you speak at a rehab
10:50 am
hospital several years ago, when i was there rehabbing from something, and you were with -- >> you look familiar. >> you withwith the governor's wife and had just gone skydiving with her. you should tell about that. >> the governor's wife is onboard wife verns in maine and is a great friend. you call her first lady but a she wants to be call anna banana. and i got an option to skydiven into event and i said i'll only it if ann does it, thinking i would get out of it. ann said, sure. so the next big event i'm going to challenge her to go great white shark diving in a cage with me. they can't bite my arms and legs off. i'm not that worried. because they're gone. but ann is a very great supporter of the foundation an advisory board member and i'm thankful to have them six miles down the street from hi mouse. i go in the service entrance,
10:51 am
not the front door. wanted you to know that. and then they come out and treat me like i'm family i guess. they're like sit down quit. they're great. yes, ma'am. i like your boots by the way. >> my name is mary alice and i used to work -- my old boss used to have -- he had lost his arm -- i'm not sure how -- but in army, trying to detonate a bomb and he has -- i'm curious how your arms work john used to wear a vest and had hooks and they would open -- >> tom -- come on up here. i need your help. >> i remember he couldn't get coins or -- >> come on up. demonstrate. ladies and gentlemen. mary ellen, right? >> right. >> my demonstrator. >> ladies and gentlemen, how this works. ever rode a motorcycle before? >> no.
10:52 am
>> moped? okay. make fist like this now. rev the engine on a motorcycle. that's down go up -- let them here the noise. i need you right now. i need you right now. >> vroom vroom. >> the muffler right here, i have my arm up to right here so the muscle right here on your hand, when i you flex it toward the ceiling slow it flexes and opens. now rev it up fast. i can't hear you revving it. fast. vroom, vroom vroom. >> right. so you picked it up fast, rotates to the left until i stop the flex. now make a fist and drop your hand to the ground the other way. make a -- errr. so the mussel down here, you -- the muscle down here -- hit he brakes hard. i can't here it. >> crash? >> no.
10:53 am
>> that's why i don't ride a motorcycle. >> don't forget the brake. don't just crash. >> errr. hitting the brakes. so that's how fast and slow i switch the muscles. that's one way. ladies and gentlemen, there's new technology out there, so this technology is actually horrible. walter reed has three guys trying to step out -- wait wait. you can't go anywhere now. you have to hang out mary ellen. so walter reed has all this technology and voice activated control, like, hey, siri -- they have voice activated control. so click this button blue light is on. it's engaged. now i'm like, open. close. how cool is that? >> super cool. >> a cup of coffee with shorts on. and someone says close spills all over you in your white shorts. to be fair i said close, and i was cover -- anyway, my mom and
10:54 am
dad's house at my daughter's birthday pear, we were living in michigan, and she had a big remodel done. we had a machine and i was like, open that window. and it was beige carpet that came out. how bad do you think i felt. i want to show you, give it a close. i just did it. your hand worked fine. [laughter] >> just saying. >> i'm opening. >> open. >> one more time. >> open. >> usually works. give a little growl. baritones -- >> are you kidding me? >> no,. >> open! >> try one more time. do a little growl, raspy ike open. >> open. >> really loud. really loud. ready? open! >> open! >> so ladies and gentlemen, you realize i said open three times. so, mary ellen, i appreciate you
10:55 am
coming up. this button right here, on-off switch. this one, that's my battery charger i have left. it's not voice activated. thank you for playing. [applause] >> i have to be honest. i've gotten peyton manning with the same thing. he kept yelling "ohama." he didn't get it. and a couple other people -- thank you for playing. we have a -- two rows. craig, my father-in-law right here. yes, sir. >> hi travis drew brook. ptsd is a huge problem with guys coming back from the war. what's your take on that? what do you think will help? >> i know it's definitely out there definitely real. account call it the invisible --
10:56 am
i don't suffer for it but i do counseling and instead of asking for feelings i'm like, look at what you have in front of you, your wife and two kids, why are you dwelling on the past and see them what their future holds instead of dwelling on the past i reminisce the past but as soon as there's more studies done and people nor more about it we'll open up programming for that at our foundation. i'm fortunate and i know that, not suffer from anything with ptsd or flashbacks or traumatic brain injury. so right now, try to mentor and counsel the best i can with my limited knowledge on what the situation is. but i definitely hope that people that need help, get help. that a big problem. very prideful and don't want to ask for help. and anybody can e-mail my web site and reach out to me, but i don't suffer so i don't know the symptoms of causes well enough to have people come to the camp and try to help them reform right now. we're hoping in five to ten
10:57 am
years when more research is done, we can help people in those kind of situations. thank you for the question. >> hello, sir. >> how's it going? >> one statement. i'm from bangor myself. my one question is, why did you move to bangor? >> oh, yeah. it's not c-span so i can't tell my normal jokes. actually we had the ability to build a house anywhere in the nation we wanted. my body, when the heart boats it pushes the -- normal people get to fingers and toes and comes back cooled down mitchell goes to residual limbs and comes back warmer. a thirds of my body has three layers and it's caps off so i overeat very fast. also last week you really see from your body, head, hands and feet. i'm missing four of the five. you can't tell that but i am.
10:58 am
so my wife and i moved to texas because she grew up at texas at age 11. wanted to go to dallas and that would have been great but i didn't want to have six amongst a year i was in ac and crying all the time. i'm a whine. then she is originally from maine and i told my wife to leave me sell everything we had and she didn't. she has huge family base up there, 140 people met in one day. had item press them. that's the first time we met, back in '08. they loved me. just like you guys do. but if she could sacrifice everything and help me through my recovery sit by my bedside i was in a medically induced coma for five days and she sat there until she was forced to go back to the room and come back itch thought my family is great love. the. i i can fly out and see them. my mom and dad are retirement stage can visit me as much as i'll see them. we're meeting up in miami tomorrow, and my wife deserves to be around her family and we
10:59 am
want to have more children. like i said no problem there. so how great would it be if she had that. not every day is roses in this situation she faced with, that she has decided to be in. she married me but that was in 2008 when i was 6'3", 250 pounds, and a different man. same person upstairs but she stuck with me and knew it would be a long road to recovery. so i thought why not move to mississippi for her -- move to maine for her? and we did. now i'm thinking, oh, crap. it's like what, 40 below tomorrow or something. i'm not there, th. ha-ha- something. i'm not there though. some of you does on the beach. alcohol free. yes sir. >> since you're up there now, do you find that you get the great support from the politicians? the public figures?
11:00 am
and also sinjar up there do you find that you can bring our support, more encouragement to the veterans that are currently living out there all the way to -- >> absolutely. the politicians are very great. .. of that, with helping the vets out and things like that, i'm able to be a voice because right now in this society everybody says, you're a veteran? and you must have the ptsd or problems or issues and i'm hoping to get on the platform and stay not all veterans have issues weapon don't need a negative, what's wrong with this one? i'm here with a positive message telling people never give up and never quit and keep pushing forward. it's anywhere i go. i feel thankful that i'm able to have the stage to tell people, don't pity me. i'm not a substory. i know i sound like marco rubio repeating myself. i'm sorry. [laughter]
11:01 am
>> that's not a good job? trump '16? no? like i do like to help throughout the whole nation. i travel quite a bit and we were in san antonio at the alamo and now we're traveling to miami st. louis and that they get sick want to catch my next show. i don't know if i was joking. whatever. yes, sir. a commanding voice. [inaudible] -- the active-duty military. >> absolutely. i talked to melt holders and runs. we still get along. i've been able to accommodate that. general odierno actually asked me if i would stay in the military and i said i appreciate that and i don't want you to move me. he's like we would move you.
11:02 am
as i know i'm getting out and retiring. i broke down and cried in front of the sergeant nature in general fairness that i can't do my job anymore. the infantry. i really enjoy my job. i can't do my job i don't want the uniform anymore. i'm going to retire out with what i have and what i was able to do. so i'm still actively supporting counseling soldiers. they call me for an event i can make i go do it and i talk to my friends regularly throughout the nation. the two guys got her with me the day i got blown out. and they went home with me. ryan as a child and a phoenix traffic after me. so that is cool. in the book you guys will see there's a nice letter written from the flight medics after i loved with -- yelled at them. i yelled at them really loud. they couldn't believe the situation i was in. i hope everybody buys the book obviously an injury that.
11:03 am
check me out on travis i'm not going to push it on you. you should go awful if you don't. i'm unorthodox. buy it. i can see the timers going at about 42 minutes. you are in charge, not me. >> speaking of your book that you might never want to buy travis will be out in the author book signing. he is going to go out there and find both. i just want to say i am very honored and blessed to be here today. i want to thank you for being here with us. >> thank you so much, everybody. i appreciate it. have a great day. don't forget to come back or do not. she's phenomenal. [applause]
11:04 am
power mac >> next transfer and covers union in his book "playing against the house: the dramatic world of an undercover union organizer." >> now want to tonight's festivities we had james walsh here chorus. he is the author of "playing against the house: the dramatic world of an undercover union organizer" and the book it was recently released and it has received some glowing reviews to date. james' work has appeared on the website of "the new yorker," "esquire" and global post it on
11:05 am
the editorial staff of new york magazine parent without further ado, please give james a warm welcome. [applause] >> hello. thank you to everyone for coming. i remember in the summer of 2007 i had one of those great unpaid editorial internships at a magazine near here now defunct. "national geographic" adventure magazine. is the first time i heard about a half day and i remember just being dumbstruck to think that somebody could both be a journalist and own a bar. and here i am. during that same summer i also
11:06 am
got to deliver a package to sebastian unger's house. for those who don't know, he's the journalist who happens to own -- one of the owners of the spire. another thing happen that number. that was the first time somebody handed me a ted conover book. it was the book new jack which was about year spent at a prison guard at sing sing. that was the first book that really got me interested in experiential journalism. some undercover some not. i've since read all the books. a few years later, i had a job interview with an historian who at the end of the interview asked me to pitch him a story.
11:07 am
i had heard about friend who weren't working out how they graduated from pretty good schools colleges and working on hotels to organize units for a man died. that was the first time i heard about faulty. so i pitched the story to the historian who then hand the gumption to sit just that i go off and i would learn more about life and the world in writing and going off working as an undercover union organizer and writing about it than i would ever learn as his assistant. at the time i could not have been more angry at him because he started stepping on this trajectory. a few years later i remember standing in the buffet casino watching cnn and seeing the historian talking about i think the golf oil spill and kind of
11:08 am
cursing his name. but i am forever grateful to ted conover and douglas brinkley who sent me off to do because now i have this book which i'm very proud of. [applause] i went down to miami and 2010 after convincing the union that i could be a good salt. saltine is the act of getting hired at a nonunion work as an organizing meeting died. we worked pretty diligently to get hired as the targets places the union was targeting, which was three casinos. once inside i could start making trouble in unionized even. the crux of our campaign was to get to know our coworkers.
11:09 am
that was the most important thing. in order to do that, we let go when social is because people are never really relaxed at work enough to talk about themselves and talk about what makes them tick. we wanted to understand so we would go on social. and i would then take the information and share but a union organizer, alex who would eventually go convince this person teacher in the unionization committee armed with the kind of intelligent that i provided. so that was the basic premise of saltine. we will pick it up there. i was working at the time -- i worked at two casinos three different jobs. overcome the truth virus cabin which was the high-end restaurant in the casino. i worked in the buffet as a waiter fetching arnold palmer's
11:10 am
and i worked as a bartender in another casino. but we will start there. alex my organizer continued to push me to make friends in the buffet. on some nights i would visit buffet tickets and other servers if this required me to walk through the dish room which connected the tavern to the buffet. the industrial dishwashing machine sounded like a jet engine. to keep the noise out they have pop out with two or i had met at orientation would wear headphones and singing along while he scrubbed, heard that she will braun, but i don't know. when sean from mike distefano corydon finned from the three managers walked through the dish room, he was switched to spirituals. wade in the water. he said it was the quickest way
11:11 am
to get white managers out. eric or had told mickey on had been in trouble at times but hope to have a steady job on the straight and narrow. a stock caribbean woman in her late 50s working next to key on her passed out a shadow applied liberally said more about her exuberant personality than her all-white uniform. after receiving a st. patrick's day card i sent her in order to get her address from her proceeded to give me cards on each chair my birth day thanksgiving and christmas. jeanette scruggs a large heavy cookware. about the same age she had five adult children three married into college age. despite the fact she had lived in the united dates for 30 years, jeanette peaked much
11:12 am
english. they both understood english though. during orientation, haiti was hit by a massive earthquake that killed some 230,000 people. months later i asked tonight about her family. i know three family type. two children in one school. one cousin at home. bad, bad she said. they didn't talk to each other much. this is because they didn't get along. not the language barrier. but despite personal differences, there is a sense of solidarity. both women were latex gloves that did little to prevent their fingers from pruning in the first hour of work. they looked out for each other whenever one of them snuck a plate of food i sat down on the job. to help each other lift heavy pots and laugh together with danny donovan the head dissident irish apartment block
11:13 am
to the dish and went sneakers with kirk platforms meant to exercise and titan is closed. alex had told me my organizer had told me to ask any altercation or latina women to take me to church. he called it a slamdunk social. so i asked. she did but i was asking but she couldn't respond fully and in dish. i wrote my name and phone number and a pizza receipt paper in testament to her. later that night as i was getting off my shift i got a call from an unfamiliar number. is this james? a young woman asked him in imperfect english. my name is danielle and my mother tells me that to come to church with us. we arranged to meet that sunday on mothers day for mothers day mass. slam dunk indeed. but alex pushing me i had no
11:14 am
choice but to hunt for social that the college freshman looking for a party. alex would check in after my shift. did you get a social? why not? taylor said she was busy this weekend. dude, you know that is not an excuse. these conversations with alex for brutal. i started bombarding coworkers with requests to hang out just to get alex off of my back. though enough and jim moore is in the water come as something. social started to let my schedule. i went to diet are and a jamaican joint head out to batting cages, rolling and a baby shower. i had coffee with ivan a bartender from slovenia who had worked at every hotel between miami and fort lauderdale. wanting to avoid the line at the popular strip club king of diamonds were strippers rescheduled to box each other i went to a dingy strip club mixer
11:15 am
with a group of cocktail waitresses. we were accompanied by a casino vip who handed out sacks of 1 dollar bills. she believes a cooktop me to make rio, a haitian dish made from pork shoulder was cutting up tucker, thyme and garlic i learned that she knew it's about her drug addicted husband when she was pregnant with her second child. as well as the only female cook, she wasn't so much offended by the misogyny in the casino's kitchen but she was tired of it. jeanmarieis dreamed of becoming a full-time caterer, but even at $13.75 an hour while the highest good and average wages at the casino, she wasn't even enough to realize the dream. i went to want club with an attendant named sam and another with rodney. i managed to sashay brummett dantzler will traditionally avoiding close contact. i learned that fan it decided
11:16 am
10 at lucky you tattooed above is another region. i also learned that he made $11.50 an hour when it were a unionized casino. at our casino he made $8 an hour. lussier took me to a religious ceremony they sent me she ran buddhism is a new age center in a posh suburb. i chanted alongside her. driving to and from the retreat center, which he has talked about her ex-president entre has been who gambled away their savings lane pool. she also told me addition to the $9 an hour she was making at the casino she got by with $600 a week she made cleaning the mention of a cookware tycoon. the home modification in the money she needed to send to her
11:17 am
sick father in your way. the co was considering taking another job as a maid in west palm beach. in order to tutor a cocktail waitress, patricia and knowledge went in our refreshing my math skills. i came in at mardi gras, hard rocking gulfstream spent an afternoon doing situps and push-ups as chris come a flight attendant and amateur boxer. i was sore for weeks. the peruvian dishwasher to the mothers day mass. it was in spanish and when the priest asked all the mothers to stand, i also stood up. everyone laughed at me. afterward we skirt steak at a friends house. i got another diabetic daughter danielle appeared she was only 13 but talk to me with honesty and awfulness of someone much
11:18 am
older. i want to be a doctor she told me while driving from church to lunch. my father died a year ago and since i diabetes i want to learn to help people. even when coworkers didn't open up in gush about their personal lives social worst of familiarity that fostered comfort in confidence. i realized how much she trusted me when she called me that she was leaving work one day. she was hysterical, gasping to use the little english e-mail. calm get me. she was waiting for me when i pulled up alongside the casino loading dock. she was crying. she gave me an address in south miami and explained we needed to go get an ally. 45 minutes later we pulled out to the house. she went inside. a minute a very man exited the house carrying daniella and a rancher in the backseat of my car.
11:19 am
she followed. canalis eyes were rolling in the back of her head she was heaving and shaking. she didn't respond to me. i drove one block pulled over and caught an ambulance. danielle had gone into diabetic shock. when the paramedics arrived they rushed her into the back of an ambulance and went to the hospital with her. she was in the hospital for days. i still don't know exactly what happened on afternoon, why the people inside the house had called an ambulance themselves. i visited danielle in the hospital. daniela translated for her mother. my mother wants to thank you for saving my life. even if she had been on the brain, i didn't save her life. when she called me i did know
11:20 am
the gravity of the situation. i am a soldier i was busy when in fact i was laying on my couch reading a book, enjoying my day off. i feel the reason i hadn't because i knew her family had welcomed me and are socialists had created a once strong enough to trust me in a dire situation. some might argue their relationship with built on a falsehood, but i knew early on the vote didn't be matched. though the origins of our friendship had been calculated, it was an honest friendship. so at some point ice age from one casino to another and started saltine added new casino called mardi gras. it was a strategic decision but i am going to just read a quick excerpt here from the first day
11:21 am
at mardi gras casino. i give you a sense of the casino life. my first shift at mardi gras was on tuesday september 6, 2011. guess that they could get their pictures taken with a tiger in the lobby. lyons, zebra and monkeys were all scheduled to make appearances in the coming weeks. the casino's concept was refreshing. in this spirit i was given a clatter a pumpkin orange bath to wherever a black uniform. i look like a magician and 80s but messiah. i arrived 10 minutes early for every shift at mardi gras. i would enter through the employee entrance, clocking in at a walkie-talkie from bobby a geriatric security guard at the christmas lights era. usually listen to an oldies station that played the song with bg harmonies. i would price the exit leading
11:22 am
to the right the door and proceed to the casino floor immediately and immediately outfield machines around the exploding, quaking, blinking. after a few seconds, the promotion proceeded into my sub conscience like traffic on a new york street. they were the same machines that cluttered the floor. the last casino i worked at. the customers are the same, too. some came to mardi gras because they were tired. others don't run from one casino to another. they had the same foggy stairs. on weekends, the females dancers tornquist preponderant parade through the casino. some just seem to like the entertainment, but they never looked away from the slot machines. the walk to the money room a short period of type my badge and enter the first of two men trapped. there is always a moment of claustrophobia as i could note that the next-door in the secret
11:23 am
until the door behind me have locked. sometimes someone is surveillance mature through the radio. one second someone is coming through. that meant i had to wait for someone on the other side of the door. i was always under surveillance. it only took a couple shifts to get over that. i have nothing to hide. and by the money room and attendant rent apocalypse jumpsuit again made clear plastic factory window. it had $300 in it. the cashier tell us are getting much bigger containing at least $20000. they would flicker him periodically to show the cameras they were hiding any money. a quick gesticulation looked like something that pop up would do well describing good but not great spaghetti. after counting my back o'grady is surveillance. sierra one mrs. james, mrs. see her one from mrs. james walsh going from number one to the main daughter. because i was the newest
11:24 am
bartender, i was given a lot of afternoon shift that really had much business. the shifts are a great opportunity to talk with cocktail waitresses. i'm not sure if the job they the job they been tough for cap people were trying to get the job. the cocktail waitresses were always the prettiest people in the building. i may have griped about life in the buffet and after one shift of the cocktail waitress i would've begged for craft night and arnold palmer of refills. their entire shift, 16 hours was spent walking with twentysomethings, but little for the older waitresses. they also endured them of the most degrading customers. they were regular joe's who believe the waitresses uniforms uniforms -- uniform is an invitation to complementary. or worse there were people who snapped their fingers for service or clapped their hands are whistled. there were drums, creeps and men too thick to know when to shut
11:25 am
up. there were customers who called the waitress -- most of the time the women just took it on the chin. it is all part of the hospital. during one of my first shifts i worked alongside to cut the waitresses only secondly now. elisa couldn't have been older than 25. petite blonde cuban-american who live near the casino in havana. lena was 40 and a shoe like to say, she looked good for her age. she had dark black hair she pulled into a ponytail and a famed polish accent. she was finishing a graduate degree in an ear design. i asked how she could afford it. she didn't subscribe she said. scouts is a popular strip club nearby. she's joking. i don't actually do scarlett. i just keep working. she's the floor like a cow path. she wants with her shoulders
11:26 am
back, stiffen up right, ponytail swinging each long stretchy tie. it was as if she knew she was better than the cut is just there and that's probably why this picture so well. when it came to united states when she was 24. shanda masters degree in physical education in poland associated eco-word of english. she got her first job as a waitress at on long island i learned to recognize questions and wrote responses. i want to make a customer happy. eventually she moved to florida where she and her boyfriend of the nature hike traffic. after her boyfriend within a life-threatening dirt bike accident, lena was forced to close the course and nurse them back to help. it was really bad she told me. i had to clean him when he dashed himself. then when he got his strength back he started hitting her. i told him after he takes her
11:27 am
view this is how you treat me? no way. not his brother chimed in. shut up. she's joking. no i'm not. i'm single and happy. after a few shifts i started asking lena about the job. often workers would brush off questions by saying this is a temporary stop between their past and future. they now believed interior design with your future. she was ready to quit bardic but when i asked her about the head of the food and beverage department, and they now lead up. i haven't met sally at but i heard she was ac. the customer complained about me in the service. most managers are we of all people who understand the complaints often come from irritable gas and negligent you
11:28 am
will not talk until i tell you to talk. if i didn't need this job i would've told her often want now. there wasn't much but i made a note. i asked her about ensuring, scheduling seniority. and then i asked about our paid time off. you know they only pay $5 for vacation. by character he'd take some vacation pay too? i've had a similar problem with my vacation pay at the other casino. vacation time is all about an eight hour increments and i had been paid for tipped employees set of minimum wage. i think i told my manager about it about the full minimum wage. $7.25 it the next time i used my paid time off. in lamest case it could have been an honest mistake or mardi gras, but in an industry that required employers to put their hands to show they were holding
11:29 am
money anything was possible. so i want to open it up to q&a. but before i do know -- that was a taste of the employee side of the story because the other side of course is management. we saw quite a bit of resistance from the casinos we were organizing in south florida. right now the private industry, for those of you who don't know it's over 6% of the workforce is unionized. but i learned from observing the management side was that the problem isn't just the employees they didn't want to join the union was simply they didn't have a chance to join the union. management had a toolbox attack pics to delay and inhibit my
11:30 am
coworkers -- prohibit my coworkers from joining the union. i hope that this book is a reflection of the reality which is we need to weaken that are what it takes to join a union in america and not necessarily what the union represents. how is the conclusion i came out as someone who didn't grow up. so i hope you enjoy it. it's a story about people, not about unions or casinos. it's really a story about people. i hope you enjoyed it. open up for questions. [applause] >> the question is did the union
11:31 am
know you are undercover writing a book when they tend to undercover docs? >> yes, that's another element of the story here that i also write about was the fact that i didn't tell the union that i plan to write this book. so the union was in the dark about the boat at the casinos in the dark about the union and the boat. and i propose a lot of challenges during day one of journalist school 101 is don't do something like this. i set off day one on a journalism school trained to do it. there were a lot of challenges and not necessarily share would do it again because it is stressful personally as well. >> did the union of their pay when they send you into a nonunion work. >> to answer that question
11:32 am
there's a very long history assaulting but it's a nonunion workshops. it's been around as long as organized labor in the u.s. a lot of different unions do it. management knows about it and some of them -- sending unit they had different between a salary -- exactly. but all the salt i worked with in florida were volunteer. they were young recent college graduates are activists looking for a way to work their way into the labor movement. >> with assaulting a cavities -- did you differentiate between documented and undocumented workers? >> that would be an interesting project in south florida. i worked at casinos which required a state background check. you can get a spot license. as far as i know i didn't work
11:33 am
with anybody undocumented. there are probably ways to get around the background checks, but i did not. some organizers even when we were talking about the workers who were documented were often hesitate to talk to the union to draw attention to their families who might also have undocumented workers. [inaudible] the question is whether they get out of the personally? i didn't know anything about unions or the labor movement going into this really. like i said it is the challenge that is not necessarily convincing my coworkers that the union if they could do. the challenge is much bigger than that. for example i don't know if people are familiar with the
11:34 am
term right to work. 26 states have a right to work, which means unions represent an entire work place regardless of whether or not the workers are paying dues. unions like to say right to free load and it sounds nice. right to work. orwellian language. but it's more about destroying unions is what i found. site a conversation with a coworker who literally said to me a great hs who loves to after me. i cannot endorse. the union is a good thing but don't join because you don't have to. and you can't land somebody. she was a tipped employee making something like $4.25 an hour
11:35 am
plus tips. she had a bunch of kids. you can't blame somebody for not wanting to pay dues when you are making that little. it's the difference between a tank of gas but it is so important. this is somebody who is flat out telling me the union of something she would want, but didn't want to join. it's much higher than that. it goes in the right to work laws. the fight is just as much in the supreme court as we see now as it is on the casino floor. >> though, thank you. incredible work. a lot of what you have read is really about the women you are working with. you mentioned the guy who sings while human water. so how much of your time and
11:36 am
union organizing and how much is there this sort of camano, seems like a lot of women involved and a lot of women who are native weimar money to secure sick children. number one, how were you able to gain their trust. but you are not -- you are not done. how are you able to do that? number two, how can we learn more deeply about women alone in this position and is that -- how important is that compared -- it's not important, but how much of it is women nominated? you recognize it's very much about the women asked. and you're sort of absorption of. that's not a clear question.
11:37 am
[inaudible] maybe you do. of the number one spot or some other amount a union campaign is successful. women are much more likely. i saw that at a casino. we organize the leadership committee of 15 workers and 12 of leaders were women, all women of color. so say these attacks on unions right now are also attacks on men of color. as for me personally i don't remember. somebody once pointed out to me was much like the way college kid. it is easy for me like i'm going to hang out with this guy because we can talk about baseball.
11:38 am
i learned different ways to approach these women. [inaudible] >> i was never explicitly asked. i think it is more like the organizers knew that is how it would end up. they wanted to talk to as many people as possible. i remember one organizer once said to me, yeah, we are going to win the housekeeping department because the housekeeping department was 98% haitian. he said these people have been through so much to get here i'm up so much behind that they are not scared of management. i think again all 12 people on the union committee the leadership committee were haitian. >> when you are talking to
11:39 am
people, the entry-level people in making the case that the union and is it a left right political discussion you're having? >> there is no way to know if someone is pro-union based on left right gender, anything. not even dollars and cents. of course anemic $7.25 an hour $9 an hour $10 an hour it is going to be at some point to some ex-end. what i heard from my coworkers over and over was about respected the work place. they wanted to gain some measure of power in the work place because they were sick and tired of feeling like any day could be the last day of work. that was part of the pitch that we would give on house visit. workers were scared and rightly so as i learned that they would
11:40 am
get fired if they were part of this union organizing committee. management would fire them. our pitch was okay, so they might fire you. that is definitely a risk you have to take. but who's to say they're not going to fire you tomorrow when you accidentally take your break -- or break runs two minute long, for any reason they could be fired. so white black, republican democrat. there is no way to know. organizers really understand when the knock of the month tour and even going so far as to say whether they say they are pro-union or not doesn't even matter if they are pro-union or not because often times have they found out they did know anything about the union. i had one coworker asked me if management is going to organize the union for us. another coworker asked if we were already in a union. there's no really baseline.
11:41 am
it is all as far as organizers there can earn. yes. i am back >> i will answer it, but you can also buy the book. the first casino i worked that was unionized, but that was after i left. the second casino i worked at had not been unionized. and that is all i will say. we had no shot at being unionized because it was such a brutal antiunion campaign. >> what you must do it? >> they unite to your. they are hotel and casino. >> what funny thing that you learn negative about the union
11:42 am
and their tactics? you are obviously coming in with a day. did you anything on the other side? >> that's a very good question. as far as what i witnessed firsthand, there are a lot of difficult decisions to be made you know, in a campaign as to how much do i have to put these workers at risk. if i know that this is an action that might get them fired am i going to back down or am i going to have the workers bear this risk? when workers were fired, the union did their best to find them and counsel them. one thing that really left a bad taste in my mouth, i'll give away a little bit. there were a lot of workers that were fired him over to the labor relations board that didn't file charges against the casino. i was shocked when two prominent
11:43 am
unions filed notices on behalf of management without even contacting the union is working with. we've worked with this manager the president of the casino different casinos around the country and i've never witnessed any kind of antiunion tactic. they were to union leaders blindly writing letters on behalf of management without contact and you're in the worker side of the story. i don't know if that happened. i'm not a labor historian if that happened in days of old. that is shocking to me.
11:44 am
they had managed to come to the buffet. they would come to the buffet and organizer off all the workers come together and cannot act like it was a normal meeting. they had it as like is going on here? are you taking advantage of the 401(k) we offer. nobody was taking advantage because they. one brazilian for the question.
11:45 am
unions have an important place in america in history. and aren't you glad we have all those things they drive a wedge between workers and management. they don't have anything to sell. all they are business people trying to get her money. and then justifies one human race versus employee recommended they are just like stalkers.
11:46 am
you never know if someone is coming to kill you. it's not like a grape leaf of the united nation. so thou be the the start of it. a lot of these just toe the line with legality whether or not they are going to offered disincentives for incentives to not join a union and then go so far as to fire employees. workplaces like the service. find a reason to fire employees is pretty easy. a cocktail waitress for loitering, which is i believe the job description of a to waitress. there's a host of ways to hide behind it.
11:47 am
>> i wondered about your strategy to go undercover as a reporter to do this story. did you think that worked out for you and what you do that again? >> so yeah, i kind of looked at undercover reporting. i mean, it is a privilege. you still have to try to bring some object committee. there is nothing that happens in this book that i feel i sat on that path because it would make a great joy. i don't want to see people into good quote. that's basic journalism whether undercover or not. i want is close to be genuine affection for the people in the boat. i certainly think yes i was accessible and writing the story
11:48 am
that hasn't been written about and writing the story of service workers trying to organize demand-side. what i do it again? i don't know. it is difficult because in some ways it is like reporting because you're getting to know people and getting them to talk and that is great. but getting to know people without them knowing you're going to write about and does that feel great at the other end. so that is something i'm still unpacking kind of dealing with. [inaudible] >> good question. so salting like i said i've been going on forever. the first person to call it salting i believe was the president of the elect to coworkers in the late 1800s
11:49 am
and he borrowed the phrase from the term trend to a mind which is kind of a speedy way of making a mind look a lot more valuable by sprinkling golden brown. that connection they are not really sure. that it goes even further because salting comes from saltine love. freshwater wells were more common than salt which i didn't even know as you move further west. people would just dump a bunch of salt and sell it off. how that connects come you have to ask henry miller, who the electrical workers, the president of the electrical workers union in the late 1800s and i believe the electrical workers say that to the day he died he was working in work places.
11:50 am
>> did you need to get peoples position to work -- right about that? >> we really read it closely and changed names and identified characteristics. so it's not required which of course goes hand-in-hand with why it's a difficult -- a difficult task. [inaudible] >> i don't really know yet. >> european specific about where you are working in the characteristics of the department. with every consequences of those individuals? >> we have made sure -- so one thing that is my favorite is the turnover rate. many of these workers are long gone.
11:51 am
>> what are the people you work with think about the government and how it might have protected them are not protected them? what was their attitude towards government? do the minority people -- what any of the people be voting for donald trump today? >> that's another really good question. in terms of the government that sort of a roller coaster because as coworkers were fired and the cases were filed with the national labour relations board there was a sense of okay we are going to get just as. we'll get them to hire us back and get back pay. just a few months people were fired in november 2011. the court case happened in june june 2012. just a few months later the judge ruled they had been wrongfully fired and should be put back to work with dr. that is for justice and the relatively justice over a year. these people can go back to work
11:52 am
and still today that cases be appealed. some people were offered their jobs back. others weren't. there's so many ways to delay delay, delay. i watched my coworkers. anytime there is news about the case of first, they believe there have been some sort of justice and it just waned. but faded in the line of the government to carry that out. whether or not some of them with hope for donald trump is interesting if you look at -- it varies so much from union to union. donald trump has found some support among union members. there have been a few polls show strong support but just look at the union endorsement. they are for bernie sanders. >> i'm not talking about union workers. i'm talking about people --
11:53 am
>> just people ever took in general. i find it hard to believe. i don't think many of my coworkers what is bad on the donald trump like him. many of them i told you were when men and women of color. people that donald doesn't poll well with. it would be an anomaly i think. >> what is your overall impression you took away of the future organized labor. it seems like these big funding efforts to bring union seem that this sort of ground-level, what do you think? what is your impression of the future? >> well, you said it. but the coat brother for whatever dark money funding campaigns he changed the state's right to work and various other
11:54 am
insidious ways that cases have gone before the supreme court. that affects the workplace i worked at. they are really effective. if you look at the numbers, they are not good. if somebody told you 10 years ago that michigan would have gone right to work, detroit auto workers, the home of the auto workers would've gone rights were probably would've been blown away. somebody told you to west virginia, the home of the modern labor movement had gone right to work it would have been hard to believe and that happening right now down to 6% and losing ground every year. that being said the organizers said that were extremely good at what they did. they were doing it for the right reasons i can tell you. they were passionate. they were working at all hours
11:55 am
and they were doing that in a smart way. the locals in south florida had more members now than it did five years ago and i know that is because of the progress this organizers are making. i think for a long time to service industry sort of felt like the square peg in a round hole because of the turnover because of the solitary nature of the work. i think that ap people are realizing that the campaign -- the minimum wage $15 has been a union funded campaign. so if there is any other harbinger of things to come i think unions are so successful at what they do. i know that's not a great yes or no if there appeared i know that's not maybe satisfying, but there is so much in the air right now.
11:56 am
>> could you advise any of the people who are in the book prior to publication, albeit under different names that you are doing this vote? >> sure, i did, yes. i got a mixed response. the union was not thrilled about the fact i'm writing about salting. despite the fact that every major company not only knows, that has ways to actively look for salt and spends a lot of money to do that. but i understand they didn't want -- the union at that point are they really want to take care of their messaging and this is not vetted by the union in any way. other people were excited about it to have the story is told. there was a mixed response. >> just a couple more questions. if we have any more.
11:57 am
though? all right. [inaudible] >> yes. so it's very hard to find. it's a lot harder than you inc. to find a later date you want to join your committee because too often you get caught up in this person has a lot of people congregated around them all the time but that's because they're funny. but this person is really nurturing but maybe it is because he's a great dad not necessarily because he's the leader. khalil was the leader because she is somebody who are father is a drug dealer who had been killed. her mother was a drug addict she grown up taking care of her little brother, moving him around the country. so she was tough.
11:58 am
and then she one day of work she had a lot of people around her who got to her. monday we had to clean down the table and have managed to come over and sign off his latest persons table is claimed. and i of course never did that. and like the one white guy that got away with saying my table is good i'm going to leave. they had to have people sign off. the manager gave her a really hard time about cleaning off the table and she said you know what why are you giving me a hard time right now? when did the manager just kind of shriveled inside if you want to push back come to my office to make another conversation. she said no i'm going to do it right here in front of my coworkers where i have witnesses. randy walked away and now is the last time he ever pushed her around. so i knew she was definitely a
11:59 am
leader she wanted and when i left the first casino i worked out, it was the hardest for me to say goodbye to her. she was the first person on our committee. she stayed through a full year of work he or she was disappointed saw me as his compatriot and of the site despite the fact she didn't know i was working with the union. so i heard she was eventually fired because she accrued to many small little writeups which is another way to get workers to get this turnover. so i heard she was fired but i think i sent her a copy of the book. >> so on a much more personal note as we were describing this -- how do we doing this? >> two years. it must've been a painfully low lonely two years for no one around you got to know what you
12:00 pm
are doing, why you're doing that who you were, what you represented. when you talk about kind of doing it again, is that on a personal level, is that not a huge sacrifice? is that for you worked at? >> i wouldn't describe it as lonely. it's more like having a secret. i wasn't overt covert in a sense that i was always myself. i didn't have some of their identity. 99.9% one about the union or anything. they're just hanging out with friends, getting to know friends. so of course kerry of course kerry in that secret is exhausting. but there's no part of me that felt on the good was in miami said people were visiting all the time. so i have friend


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on