Joe is a proud third-generation member of ATU Local 308, having worked for the CTA putting himself through college. Joe Burns, a former local union president active in strike solidarity, is a labor negotiator and attorney. Given the recently-terminated strike of independent Starbucks employees in Chile, what would you say to unionists organizing the coffee giant worldwide? Despite massive expenditures of resources (including over $1.5 billion by the Service Employees International Unions since 1995), the percent of private sector workers organized into unions has dropped from 10 percent in 1995 to about 7 percent today. The libcom library contains nearly 20,000 articles. “Labor history is littered with defeats that sowed the seeds of victory for workers. If it's your first time on the site, or you're looking for something specific, it can be difficult to know where to start. They keep us fed, clothed, and provided for; they’re the only force with actual leverage over t… Tell us about some of these failed alternatives, and the importance of building solidarity in struggle. The question for our movement is how to start causing the corporate elite to feel some of the pain. Today's Labor History Metro Washington Council afl-cio Bringing DC Labor Together since 1896 Labor Quote of the Day: Joe Burns. His first book, Reviving the Strike! Logged in users: ▶ Can comment on articles and discussions Most recently he worked as a Senior Adviser to the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews. Labor’s traditional tactics of solidarity allowed workers to join together across employers and even industries to confront employers together. Located in Los Angeles, Joe Burns is a young actor from Atlanta who’s always ready to work and leave his mark on the industry. Representing the Australian Labor Party, he was elected as the member for the Division of Macnamara in Melbourne (formerly Melbourne Ports) at the 2019 Australian federal election. If you have an ebook reader or a Kindle, check out our guide to using ebook readers with libcom.org. Treasury’s Gift To The Fed with Robert Hockett. A strike which effectively halted production or a boycott which caused an employer’s business partners to cut off ties caused employers to feel pain during a strike. Joe Burns, a labor negotiator and lawyer, talks about the past, present, and future of the labor movement. As Joe Burns writes in his fascinating account of the strike in the history of the American labor movement, labor unrest, and the use of the strike reached a peak during the Great Depression. The strategy has not worked. Likewise, in the context you speak about, in the government shutdowns or fake budget “crisis,” conservatives are not the ones feeling the pain. As a teenager, Joe worked with his father Marty at the firm on weekends and after school. Can you help people new to labor understand these legalistic intrusions into our right to free association? Challenging these ideas is critical to reviving trade unionism. IW: Finally, give us your sense of what needs to happen for labor to break free of the system of labor control in the United States. A veteran union negotiator and labor lawyer, he has negotiated contracts in the airline and health care industries. Whether one advocates majority or minority unionism, the question is the same: how to build worker organizations capable of confronting capital and improving workers lives. Industrial Worker interview with Joe Burns, author of Reviving the Strike, Joe Burns: What The Labor Movement Needs A strike which effectively halted production or a boycott which caused an employer’s business partners to cut off ties caused employers to feel pain during a strike. If you'd like to upload content to the library which is in line with the aims of the site or will otherwise be of interest to libcom users, please check out our guides to submitting library/history articles and tagging articles. JB: We cannot have effective trade unionism without challenging capital’s control over the workplace, industry and the economy. Today, in contrast, unionists are often legally forced to strike one plant of a giant corporation. His maternal grandmother came to Australia as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany. Building organization is only one piece of the puzzle. The American labor movement needs a jolt and Joe Burns’ new book, Reviving the Strike, delivers just the right shock treatment. Our main strategy has been to organize the unorganized either within or without the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Joe Burns: Traditional labor economists understood that to be effective, union strike activity needed to impose economic pain upon employers. IW: You write that with fewer strikes, union membership has declined, and that there has been a failure to find alternatives to striking. Today, under a system of pro-employer labor laws and practices which I call the “system of labor control,” only workers feel pain during a strike. In early 2018, the United States was hit by a strike wave for the first time in decades. He has a law degree from New York University, and currently lives in … Copy Link. Joe’s grandfather, Charles Burns, was an Executive Board Member of ATU Local 308 and a trustee on the CTA–ATU pension plan in 1947. IW: In your book you write about the limited successes of “minority unionism” at Starbucks. In “Reviving the Strike,” I argue the reason is our lack of tactics capable of improving workers’ lives. Debunking commonly held assumptions about labor’s inevitable decline and extinction, Burns, a veteran union lawyer, argues clearly and persuasively that worker power is still possible — but will require a dramatic shift in thinking and strategy. That makes it impossible to standardize wages within an industry and to maintain stable collective bargaining. We can’t win without solidarity. A strike which effectively halted production or a boycott which caused an employer’s business partners to cut off ties caused employers to feel pain during a strike. The challenge for advocates of minority unionism, and for workers’ centers in general, is how take on powerful corporations. In fact they like it. Click here to register now. His second book, Strike Back, explains how public sector unions, like the teachers, can go outside the existing framework. In the 1930s unions flowered “through solidarity,” and by the 1980s they were being wrecked by a lack of the same. Instead, many trade unionists look further and further from the workplace and shop-floor struggle. Deciding to make organized labor his life’s work, he went to school to study labor law, but was troubled to learn how weak American labor … '70s Anti-Apartheid network In April 2020, Cricket Australia awarded Burns with a central contract ahead of the 2020–21 season. Tweet. Burns shows how the strike has been reduced to near death by the constant hostility of the courts, the union busting tactics of management, and the incompetence and cowardice of union leaders. Workers have shown zero interest in joining a weak and declining labor movement. ▶ Start forum discussions, submit articles, and more... about | donate | help out | submitting content | other languages | a-z | contact us | site notes, October, 2011, issue of the Industrial Worker newspaper. JB: The concepts of minority unionism and solidarity unionism are extremely important. The following interview was conducted with Joe Burns, author of the recently-published book “Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America” (Ig Publishing, 2011). You don’t have to be a Marxist to know the vital importance of labor. Burns ran as the Labor candidate for the seat of Caulfield in the 2014 Victorian state election and gained a 4.9% swing against Liberal incumbent David Southwick. Joe Burns is a union negotiator/attorney in the airline industry and author of Reviving the Strike. Labor author Joe Burns is set to speak about the recent wave of strikes and the revival of the labor movement. Burns was born and raised in Caulfield, a Melbourne suburb which is in his electorate. 4th ed. This article originally appeared in the October, 2011, issue of the Industrial Worker newspaper. Reviving the strike - Joe Burns If the American labor movement is to rise again, it will not be as a result of electing different politicians, the passage of legislation, or improved methods of union organizing. When you wrote about the things we could learn from the right in this country, I recalled William D. Haywood characterizing the founding convention of the IWW as a “continental congress of the working class” directed toward freeing it from the “slave bondage of capitalism.”. Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, Joe Burns is an actor and writer originally from Atlanta, Georgia. By John Maclean, Industrial Worker. He’s a former public employee and union president. Joe’s father, Marty, began as an attorney for Jacobs & … Joe Burns: Traditional labor economists understood that to be effective, union strike activity needed to impose economic pain upon employers. And the revival of the labor movement 2020–21 season of Work: Stories of jobs and Resistance raised! 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