24 May 2019

As the Australian union movement licks its wounds and asks whether running a polling company and a network of volunteer call centres is the best way to campaign, it would do well to heed the words of Sara Nelson, president of the US Association of Flight Attendants: “And always remember: if you start in the workplace, the candidates will follow too. They answer to us. … For years, we outsourced our power while the bosses were outsourcing our jobs. We spent too much time trying to cut deals with the boss or build favor with politicians, and too little time mobilizing members to fight for what we deserve. People think power is a limited resource, but using power builds power. Once workers get a taste of our power, we will not settle for a bad deal. And we won’t stand by while someone else gets screwed, either. … Solidarity is a force stronger than gravity and with our collective power comes respect. This is true today.  In this city, in this country, in this world. But only if we make it so.”