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tv   After Words Steven Greenhouse Beaten Down Worked Up  CSPAN  January 5, 2020 9:00pm-10:01pm EST

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. . . . a weekly interview program with relevant guest hosts interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest works. all "after words" programs are also available as podcasts. thanks so much for coming in to talk about your new book,
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"beaten, worked up." >> guest: thanks for the kind words, congressman. great to speak with you. >> host: when i think about this book, i think about it as having three major parts after you sort of introduced the situation now, you do a really good job of talking about three stories about how workers struggle and built the middle class by organizing and bargaining through a lot of adversity and demanding policy changes. and then you go through a lot of thhard times is what i call the reagan era that we are still in where companies and starting with the president of the united
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states who attacked workers a lot in their unions and then you telling the hopeful stories about different creative and innovative ways and make some policy recommendations. a lot of books like this are criticized because they come up short on the policy recommendations i hope we get into that because you paid quite a few interesting suggestions on what might be done to restore the voice of power and workers in this country but a lot of you start by laying out where you see things right now to shape their own lives at work. >> guest: one of my concerns interviewing people over the nation so many people have no
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idea how to bring pensions and the folks who brought us the weekend. i want to explain to people they have achieved a lot in american history but now they are in decline and as a result, things are considerably worse for workers than was the case 30 or 40 years ago and far too few americans realize compared with other industrial nations. on very basic things. we are the only industrial nation that doesn't have a ball to guarantee parental leave and maternity leave, the only industrial nation that doesn't guarantee paid vacation. workers are guaranteed at least four weeks paid vacation in
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france, eight weeks. for decades now, and american workers have been suffering terrible wage stagnation while profits have reached record levels so they get something is broken and then they are frustrated and in my book i try to explain why things have worked this way. it's arguably the weakest that it's been in decades. it's down from one and three when they are at their peak and certainly they have some faults but despite this they've played a key role building the middle class in helping to get workers a voice whether it is on safety or pensions or something pulled in and they've played a key role on an acting medicare and making social security more generous
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but in the recent years they've been on the defensive and corporate power has really trumped in many ways and as a nation we have to figure out a way to give more power to help create a fair nation for example minimum wage hasn't been increased and i submit and argue that is because workers have been so weakened in congress that they are able to persuade minimum wage and it's very, very hard for millions to live on 725 an hour federal minimum wage, so one of the keys of the book is to educate about the problems workers have and look at strategies to try to increase power for workers to help create
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a more prosperous nation for millions of americans and millions of workers. a lot don't realize how few of rights they have for a disabled onexample oneof your suggestione might go away from our current system in almost all states i think except for montana in which workers can be fired for judged many decades ago a good reason, bad reason or no reason at all you suggest going towards a just cause system. literally they could fire you for that and anything like that and most don't think that it can happethatcan happen to them untt
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does. >> guest: i would get a phone call from someone say my boyfriend got fired yesterday at work because he came in two minutes late and his boss was angry about his attitude and that he wasn't smiling. isn't that illegal. i said don't you understand the united states meeting your employer can fire you for any reason or no reason except specifically. the jobs can be very precarious and uncertain into my mind one of the big problems workers don't have enough power or they are scared to exercise the voice at work, i write about the upper big branch mining disaster where a dozen workers were killed and they knew about the game jurors in the mine but they were so scared of speaking up that they
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didn't think about what was filling the minds and they are way too scared to speak up. some people argue we should move to the just cause so they can only be fired for a legitimate reason and just cause system would make them more willing to speak up when they see the state problemthis tapeproblems or whee captured in sexual harassment on the job. >> guest: the other issue that you mentioned, raising the minimum wage, it is unbelievable we've gone this far without a raise in the minimum wage. in the house we passed the raise the wage act which would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, gradually over the next five years or so and we would end the practice of the sub
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minimum wage for tipped workers that are disproportionately women and people of color taken advantage of and that would put millions of dollars into poor people's pockets and workers i think your plate i point is thee not had the power in our politics in washington and state capitol to try to get a visa to shake. >> guest: one thing that tells me i read some editoria have rel pages that complain about big labor and it's supposedly so extraordinarily powerful and i did some research in my book who is really powerful and disulfide in the 2015, 2016 campaign cycle $3.4 billion in donations which was more than 16 times as much
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as unions according to the respected nonpartisan group each year in washington the corporations spend under 3 billion lobbying would spend 48 million a lot of the problems that we see in washington so to me it was weird that congress rushed to enact a corporate tax cut for business when corporations were making record profits on wall street. >> host: how far will we get before we go in a different direction. >> guest: absolutely in that kind of explains why they were doing nothing to raise the wage because they are listening to their corporate donors. >> host: i want to talk about
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these policy ideas that i want to emphasize to the viewers i at least got so much on this book from your stories and i think it's a great part of the book throughout american history and i want to ask you don't you think that a lot of the stories you tell have a lot of relevance to today so why don't you talk a little bit about the uprising of the 20,000 for example tell us about that story because i thought idon'thave a lot of relt of the struggles workers go through today.
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i've read a lot of labor histories and a character that fascinated me over these years was born in ukraine, she was jewish. her father very religious. relatives have moved to new york and she would write letters for them. she was very literate. her family moved to new york from ukraine and she was a very bright young lady hoping to be a doctor someday but when she went to new york she only spoke yiddish and what did she do, she worked in a sweatshop and she was appalled at the conditions. she said i used to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.. i would go into work before the sun came up, six or seven days a
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week. some of the bosses would sexually harass the women, they were told not to be in the bathroom more than a minute or two, had to pay for their needle and thread and had to pay to use drinking water when they are just making $5 a week in chief of this is appalling. she became an activist and a i m not going to take this. this young woman in her late teens, early 20s became a prominent activist and went on strike and there were some math one or two factories and derisive decision saying should we have a strike of garment workers to try to put maximum pressure on the factories and there was a big debate presiding
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over the meeting and he was kind of temporizing i don't know if we should have a strike or if women workers are dedicated enough to their jobs. she said i'm tired of being a poor woman working struggling day after day and that began the largest strike today at a. the 40 hour work week was handed down by god and i explain it was by struggle and in the uprising
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blasted two months in the dead of winter mainly jewish and italian immigrants, the families went hungry for many we got after two months, they won the work week and the right no longer to pay for their needle and thread and most, they won the right to join the union and have recognition. later there was a horrendous tragedy where 146 workers died in the triangle fire. here you have a story of a teenager and a woman in her 20s many were teenagers very young overwhelmingly women, overwhelmingly immigrants. they didn't speak english, they spoke italian, yiddish, they were despised by the high
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society you don't have time to tell all the details, but they were beaten up, sent in by their employers. my question is today when we have these kind of inspiring movements that we should stop mass incarceration, that black lives matter, immigrants lives matter, that the kids are saying we demand our rights and the rights of other undocumented people. and the young people are out here in the movement about climate change. when i read your account, i thought how inspiring for an activist today fighting for the rights in this country, but i don't think in their mind they thought i better look to the 19th century labor union.
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what do you think about this? >> one of the themes in the book, people working collectively, actively protesting to lift themselves up to hito and improve improve theo to help fair treatment of african-americans but they also stress agency is important. individuals need to be willing to stick out their neck and stand up and try to demand justice in the uprising of 20,000. what was crazy, at one point they broke it within -- 11 ribs. she didn't even want to tell her parents because she thought they wouldn't let her gwould let herk on soapboxes. also, if there are incidences literally in papers to explain
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they would come and beat these young women and then the police would come and arrest them, the police were so one sided back then, and it shows how the establishment they were so aligned against the workers but even despite that they were able to win the strike ended the book i write about they used their agency to fight for a better life and i write about those in kansas city. he held to fast time to do jobs that left six in the morning, would come back at midnight. he had three daughters. they complained you work so hard he doesn't see his daughter most
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of the week if they became homeless and it was craz is crat someone who was busting himself working two full-time jobs could hardly make ends meet and he became an activist in the fight and one of the leaders in the team and i explained in the book i was the first journalist to write about the 515 and when it began years ago and they demanded $15 an hour, i said that is super ambitious, that's pie in the sky. here we are seven years later new york, california, illinois, maryland, connecticut, massachusetts, they've all and acted the wage so that shows when the workers are willing to stand up and individuals are
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willing to stick out their neck, they really can achieve big change and a lot of them today, whether it's climate activists were black lives matter activists or the need to win in the activists, they write about how the labor union involved with the strike in your home state and michigan and when they stand up and come together they can achieve historical change. so i explain on the teachers strikes in west virginia and oklahoma and arizona and in los angeles and chicago the teachers were tired of being beaten down we have to do something to not just increase the cave to ensure they are getting the funding they need in the class size and that we have enough money to buy the modern textbooks and the teachers strikes have sent a
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message to the nation about how the worker power trade unions and labor unions can help to build a fair nation. >> host: let's talk about strikes as a mechanism because they were very important in building the middle-class in this country and the. talk to us, you share both in information and stories in the book about how many strikes there were in the 50s, 60s, 70s, things like that and how both because of the wall and weakness in the labor perhaps they followed into the complete disuse and then tell us what your thoughts are about today when we are starting the teachers into a coworkers and the auto workers at gm recently. right now my kid is on strike as a graduate employee at harvard. to teltell us about that sort of
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strikes and how you see it going forward. >> guest: in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s there were far more strikes than today and in the 70s there were three and trade large strikes a year and there have been about 13 far less. workers have become intimidated and in the 1950s and 60s there was good cooperation between employers and unions they were very prosperous after world war ii and bake a fairly generous contracts. come the 1980s, the united states felt pressure from globalization and imports of steel and elsewhere and tvs and
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radios and those few things made them bolder. shortly after he became president in 81, the air traffic controllers went on strike and engaged in an illegal strike and it was kind of a make my day movement. i'm not going to put up with this and even though he'd been president of the screen actors guild i think that he really tried to show he isn't going to let labor push him around and he fired air traffic controllers for going on strike and illegally.
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i explain in the book they mishandled the strike and didn't get enough support from their fellow unions, so they were really clobbered and that was a major setback for the unions across the nation that were discouraged and at the same time they ambled and corporate embole america so it's starting in the 1980s you saw a major decline in strikes and also we saw corporations getting tougher and that made it much harder and it's a big reason it's about half of what it was in the 1980s because they engaged in the tactics they voted to form a
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union. the numbers have fallen to the lowest level in half a century that last year something happened if us th was the time e strikes. there was a volcanic explosion where thousands or tens of thousands of teachers wearing red shirts went on strike in charleston and explained how the two teachers and the leadership of the union they were coding of
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the corporate -- cutting the corporate tax is into the fees in the budgets statewide and the salaries into these teachers fault the governor of west virginia explained in the book who was the richest man in west virginia the only billionaire he said i'm going to give you a raise of 1% a year for five years and the teachers were upset about that because they had the worst pay levels of any state and worst of two health-care premiums went up so they were offered a raise of $400 a year in health premiums would go up more than that and
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j. o'neill, two teachers started a facebook page which started slowly but once the governor said we are going to give you a tiny raise and the facebook page exploded and all of a sudden we have a big movement and people are set up -- fed up we are not going to take it anymore. the heat was turning up and getting worse and they were moving backwards economically and basil the tax cuts for the rich and said we are not going to tolerate this anymore. they wanted to raise into the ability health-care premiums would go up as much as they
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forced the governor and state legislator to pay more attention after years of starving the education budget. >> host: and teachers followed suit and many other states that would surprise many of the viewers where unions are supposed to be weak. oklahoma one of the richest states in the union a high school social studies teacher there was on tv and said we could do that here in oklahoma and there was a huge strike. they won double-digit races and in arizona because of the phone with the teachers that led a strike in west virginia and learned some lessons there and it was really an effort by the teachers and it happened later in chicago the system is broken. we are tired of austerity for the schools.
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our kids are falling behind, class sizes are getting bigger. we have obsolete textbooks into the teachers went on strike to fight not just for wages for themselves but for a better school system and they say we are fighting not just for ourselves but for the community. in a recent gm strikeanother's interesting aspects of th aspecy that it began, the union chief negotiator said it isn't for us, it's for all americans. it explained you are also concerned about factories moving overseas, so are we. the uaw was unhappy about this factory in ohio closing and thousands losing their jobs. chevy cruz is declining so they closed their plant but it kept open a plant in mexico and one of the purposes of the strike is
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to say we don't want to tolerate this anymore. we want to try to stop jobs from moving overseas. the american public who are concerned about the future of jobs for your kids and grandkids, so are we and they said general motors, one of the biggest most iconic corporations in the united states, 7% of the workers were temps and 7% were factory workers and they made $15 an hour and said we've got to fix this. >> host: the strike lasted 40 days including after they were voting on it and went back to work and i can't tell you how many of the different lines i was on where i would talk to the senior people, the members ten, 20, 30 years and to say wha saye
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you really out here for an assuming he said i'm out here for the temps. they haven't had a raise in a long time. they had a lot of their own concerns that they felt it was so unjust that they were working next to somebody making half of what they were and it was corrosive to the culture of the workplace and they wanted to end the idea of two-tiered wages and temp workers that have few rights and they succeeded in the strike in improving the situation tremendously. so it really was a fight for the whole working class country and not just themselves. it was inspirational. and i can tell you something, i don't think that's got enough attention. not one person crossed the picket line. 49,000 workers. think about our society where
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people say our society is so divided and a., b. and c.. political parties, race, age, people, everybody on their smartphone not paying attention to each other here we are 50,000 workers who stuck together for over a month and day one change and i don't think we appreciate that kind of human solidarity in society anymore but that's what it takes to make change. >> guest: that is a great point. a lot of workers are frustrated and tired of wage stagnation and at will employment and gm and other companies where they hire younger workers at lower permanent wages working next to those making far more and i think a lot of people feel the system is rigged and that's one reason i want of workers voted for donald trump. they thought that he could fix
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the system int and by arguing at that unfortunately donald trump has done many things against workers interests, nothing to raise minimum wage, rolled back overtime protection for workers, safety protections. he wants to reduce health care protections. he took an important step to require -- obama took into account handling the 401 k.. the policy was a fiduciary role. [inaudible] just as many workers turn to donald trump looking for a way to raise themselves to honor the system i think for the same reason a lot of workers are looking for the union and i think that's why the general motors strikers have such support. an annual poll by gallup found public approval of the union is at its nearest high level in six
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years. american workers approve of unions and highest is among the young americans 67% of them and a recent study by some professors at mit found basically wanted to say they would vote to join the union unn tomorrow if they could wear as just one in 16 private-sector workers i and the union says the crazy disconnect that 50% want to join a union but only 6% are in a unions and they argue and explain in the chapter house appropriations fight so hard to prevent them from forming unions because corporations fear unions are going to make the corporations share more of their profits and prosperity with their workers and it might reduce their profits and for years the overwhelming idea was profit maximization and unions
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are saying that's wrong just to much income equality. labor unions are the most important and effective vehicle to try to reduce income inequality. i think that is the biggest reason why public approval for the unions is increasing and i say that even though i saw the movie the irishman yesterday and yes, corruption has been a problem in for too many years unions t did disseminate against african-americans and didn't encourage women's workers but that's changed a lot. there's less corruption and the legacy of discrimination against blacks and asian-americans is way behind unions into the sea that a key part of the future of the american workforce is when men and workers of color and they say we battle for every one we fight for. black, latino, asian, immigrant,
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unions probably have done more than every other in society accept our wonderful military to bring workers of different races and religions together. >> host: i want to spend enough time to talk about policy but people who want to read the book are going to want to read it for the stories not just of the earlier ones but the more recent ones and i want to ask you this to pick out a few of those pieces as you know it was fun for me to read this because i lived some of them at the afl-cio. for example you could sort of take your pick. when i visit the afl-cio, some unions helped the workers at the airport in los angeles and we used the community benefits agreement structure pioneered.
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i got to mar mark on the pickete the longest strike nobody crossed in over six years or something like that in las vegas and you explain effectively in detail how the culinary union and with us now the ninth year union has an incredible model of empowering and organizing workers, many immigrant workers who a hotel housekeeper as a middle-class life. we've got a lot of young people into the movement and i think you pulled threads together in various places about the importance of young people organizing. i mentioned my son. graduate employees organizing a different universities has been an area of growth for the labor movement so pick out one or two of these stories and the
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innovation you have seen workers creating through worker centers and unions that you think could be a promising model to gain the more voice and power going forward. >> let me try to talk to stories and not take too long. i devoted a chapter or tw to thn in las vegas representing housekeepers, dishwashers, assistant cooks. i write about them because they are a model union that has done a great job with people that are usually low-wage workers lifting them into the middle class. they've done a ton in politics. i profile a housekeeper francis garcia work who works at the mgm grand and she makes $19.51 per hour and under the contract gets 40 hours a week that makes $780
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a week and about $40,000 a year. i visited her apartment. she has a nice three bedroom apartment with her three kids, she's raised them on her own >> host: and the tremendous health care. she doesn't pay any premiums for her health care, she doesn't need medicaid or food stamps or welfare and i describe francis garcia as an example to show what a good effective union can do to lift people into the middle class and in comparison and contrast the typical nonunion hotel worker makes $11 an hour in austin don't work 40 hour weeks with maybe 30 hours so 330 a week and maybe 17,000 a year. you cannot raise a family, three kids on $70,000 a year. you can hardly restore salt on that. the union is a great example of what they can achieve and also
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in the 2,016th election, the union strongholds have moved from blue to red and the very powerful have done a great job communicating with the members although i see them getting involved to make phone calls and knock on doors. they played a key role in flipping them from red to blue and they say they are strong in ohio, pennsylvania, bush debate the michigan. communicate with workers, educate them about the economy and politics. unions in those state can do what we did in nevada and francis garcia fled because the
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hurricane is moved to the united states in this fighting very hard for lifting other workers at her children and i think it's a great example. >> host: it seems to me there are incredible implications both for policy and labor union itself because if we didn't have to subsidize workers say another hotel company all around the country where workers are making poverty wages like wal-mart or other sectors where the vast majority of workers are nonunion and we, the taxpayers are paying for food stamps or temporary assistance for families or so many other forms of public assistance if they were able to form their own unions they could take care of themselves and then there's the implication implicae talked about in the book for the labor movement where you think they need to devote more money
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to organizing. here's the union that did that. what they need to empower their own workers to take care of themselves instead of picking up the phone and calling the staffers. it sounds like the story this implications broadly for the labor movement and policy. >> guest: there are elaborate studies done showing a high percentage of wal-mart workers at amazon warehouse workers are on food stamps and the studies for instance have pressured amazon to adopt a 50-dollar -- 15-dollar minimum wage. they work hard and still unfortunately need food stamps and other assistance. now the union i wrote about several aspects that does a great job improving and increasing benefits and unfortunately many unions don't give a good enough job involving
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members and mobilizing and communicating with members. one of the points i make is that it does an exemplary job and i profiled this housekeeper francis garcia not only does she work full-time cleaning rooms and raised three kids on her own she also volunteers for the union, goes to bat for coworkers who get punished for right to go driving five minutes later have a hard time finishing cleaning the 14 rooms in the allotted eight hours and this is a union where people fight for each other and have each other's backs. it is a model because they do a lot of organizing and get members involved in organizing. many unions have lost members of the few decades. they've actually gone from having a team thousand members in the 1980s to 16,000 members and now it's more than tripled in size.
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overall it's declined by nearly one third so this is a model union that i think i would recommend folks. it shows that a union can achieve when it does everything right. >> host: i need to mention one other aspect of thi the story because i think i'm the only member of congress who used to run state workforces. you in the book talk about one innovation might be having states administer unemployment insurance but also possibly be involved in job training programs and helping workers have access. talk about how the union has gone far beyond helping them access to job training by the employers and unions have created one of the most inspiring job training systems in america so that you can come in as somebody with no training and start cleaning a hotel room
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and rice to be a maître d' making $90,000 in air or something. talk about the training instituttraininginstitute becaua worthwhile story? >> guest: absolutely. some unions t did a great job of training. the trade unions have wonderful apprenticeships. not everyone is going to go to college. people see a great route is becoming a plumbing apprentice or carpenter apprentice. people who don't go to college to pursue peace it can get those making 50 to 70, 80, $90,000. the culinary union working with hotel casinos has a wonderful training academy. someone clearing tables making 20,000 or $30,000 in ear they can take courses to become waiters -- courses to become waiters and bartenders. the courses are for free and then if they really want, they can take the courses to become
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chefs and triple their salary. this is all free and it is a total win-win. the casinos and must be this need a talented, loyal, knowledgeable workforce and that they are eager to make more money and work more skilled jobs. this wonderful industry union cooperative effort trains several thousand workers a year to give them more skills and enable them to raise their pay and there's all these workers who started us wer us without af housekeepers were boxers making not much more than minimum wage and now they are making 50, 60 , 70,000, some 90,000 a year. i attended some classes at the academy with a world-class
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teaching people about wine. i attended a class with an amazing pastry chef and it is for free and it's great for the industry and for the workers and society when there are cooperative efforts to provide industry with skilled workers they need and left those that are eager to move up in the world. >> host: let's talk more broadly about this because you've mentioned policy and how we can help more workers access this kind of life. you mentioned the building trade. they have incredible apprenticeships where there is something everybody should go to college meaning for your college but really there is no economist has but has a model of our futue economy where they can show that we need more than 50, 60% of the workforce to go to four year college. we are always going to need what
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you might call middle skilled jobs or jobs that really require more than high school for less than a four year degree that are a ticket to the middle class and certainly could be if more industries were organized like the building trades are. so, i don't think most people know that if you sign on to be an iron worker or a laborer or operating engineer electrician, plumber, bricklayer or all the different trades that you get education and work if you earn while you learn, you become a master at your craft, you are offered lifelong education just like a doctor or lawyer, you go back to learn about installing solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations for example. and your benefits are affordable because if you were a construction worker say you will build one building for six weeks or six months and then go to
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another one and each employer contributes to your health care and retirement. so the question is how can we get this kind of a middle-class life for more americans because i think people look at the low unemployment rate and say why isn't everybody happy, but you've told the story in your fight for 15 chapter because all those people had a job but the thing is they have two or three jobs and still didn't have a middle-class life, so let's kick off the policy discussion. what are the top picks for policy changes so that more american workers can have a real middle-class life which is i think all we really want. >> i reported to "the new york times" and i was based in paris as the european atomic correspondent. i wrote about companies and workers in germany and italy and
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france and the netherlands and sweden and he went. unfortunately a lot of the folks i spoke to in europe made fun of the united states. many paid jobs minimum wage without vacations and they sneer at the low level of jobs in the united states and says it's the low road economy. i once did a story about mcdonald's workers in denmark who average $20 an hour and have great benefits and get a lot of vacations whereas mcdonald's workers here average $8 an hour and often don't have health coverage or get a vacation. i think something is broken in the united states and that's one of the main points in the book is too often there's a lower economy with low wages and no benefits and it makes it harder for workers to make ends meet to support their families and hard for family work downlines.
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so, we have to figure out ways to improve things for workers. so, in the book i look at various models and strategies on how to make things better for workers and one day is i think our campaign finance system is very broken. corporations are far outspent. unions and worker groups and that's why the minimum wage is stuck and there is a huge attack on health coverage for all. i think we have to fix or campaign finance system so it isn't so dominated by the rich or the coke brothers networks were corporations. i think there is something really wrong when someone could give 100 million to have a huge voice in the campaign and much more say than a schoolteacher or a nurse or steelworker so that's something we need to do. >> host: i'm going to push you to do a sort of rapidfire here. in the house we passed hr one,
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which would for example have public financing for campaigns if people gave up for $200 that it would be matched to 6-1 and in some states, cities have done that. so that's one. let me ask you. i counted 17 proposals. i thought it was terrific. and i think that four or five of them are covered by what we are working through in the house right now protecting the right to organize and, or the pro- act, which we have passed through the education and labor committee which i'm the vice chair of and talked about briefly what happens when workers try to form a union and islam if you had to name quickly three or four things that need to change so the workers can actually form a union today, what would they need to be? >> guest: we have a disconnect where basically they say they would like to join a union but
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only one of 16 are in the union and i explained there such an aggressive job beating back the union. i have a line in the book that's been picked up saying the united states is the only fights harder to beat back. they fire workers, spy on workers and one of the crazy things under federal law for corporations to break the law to keep out unions they say no punishment whatsoever and it often takes years to win back the jobs of workers fired for supporting a union and they arguing about something is broken when they can flagrantly and repeatedly break the wall to keep out a union and so i think we need much stricter penalties to discourage companies from doing that. another problem is that workers
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only bargain one workplace at the time whereas in europe it's like the industrywide bargaining that gives much more clout when they bargaithey bargained withi. i think we need to figure out a way as a society because corporations so dominated now we need to figure out a way to give workers more power in bargaini bargaining. here in new york city where i am there are tens of thousands of drivers and they can't unionize because they ar often considered independent contractors but they did a study finding 95% of the drivers make less than the minimum wage. the resulting striperthere is ag 60 or 70 hours a week and honestly that thsometimeswhen ag dangerous things so the city enacted a law that creates a minimum compensation $17.22 an
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hour. they say something is really broken for tens of thousands of workers and we want to do what we think is fair for the industry and for the drivers to help ensure they can make a decent living and not have to work 70 hours a week and fall asleep at the wheel. >> host: one of the things i think your book to such an effective job at doing is showing that ther there's the ay of the individual, there is the solidarity of the group of workers coming together often thousands, and then there is the role of policy. we are not different from europe because god ordained it or the invisible hand. its countries, states, cities make policy that caused these things. so, to wrap up a committee think
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there's hope for the workers in america and if so, why because we have about a minute left and i want you to leave us on an up note because i feel hopeful myself. >> guest: i'm feeling much more hopeful than a few years ago. workers are showing we are fed up and we want better public approval is way up. even donald trump is calling for paid family leave, something republicans have opposed for years and years and the young workers are standing up. in my profession, journalism, they are unionizing and filling. so there is the sense that something is broken in the workplace and that collective action unions going on strike working together even 20,000 went to protest. so i think workers really see that there are benefits to
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collective action working together to improve their lives and family lives to create a fear society and faifairer soci. >> host: that's great. i feel like your book lays out how we could have a more hopeful future if we enact policies that just can unleash all this energy we see around the country so the workers can come up with their own solutions to organize and have a voice at work again so thank you so much for your book and the conversation i appreciate it. >> guest: thanks for talking with me.
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there is a bigger point here about the pattern of corporate behavior. she talked very eloquently about making the physician to come forward in this book and feeling that the women who came before her and have voiced complaints and a company like matt lauer. a sense of guilt that her recollections don't happen and in turn she carried a sense of
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guilt about anyone who might say that kofi's violence afterwards. and that ultimately is why she wanted to speak to break the cycle. spin it a sense of guilt because of the silence? >> the moment that you have a legal structure to conceal his alleged crime and to allow the perpetrators to stay in positions of power, you expose subsequent people to the subsidization. and if if that is the weinstein company that there's nothing in the file that was technically about sexual harassment or at fox bill o'reilly put it out there was nothing in the file about it where there were payoffs happening over and over and to conceal the record it happened at cbs news. this is not an nbc problem. this is a problem in our culture and corporate america. and i think that isn't wrong.
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it shouldn't have been on her shoulders to break the cycle. should have been on the shoulders of the company. >> the corporation. stanek but it's only now coming under scrutiny because she was brave enough to speak and a whole variety of sources, seven claims about matt lauer, a still wider group about executives at the company and the serious misconduct. so a lot of people were brave to expose the story that plays out in this book. ..

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