Workers Rights On Illinois Ballot; Green New Union Jobs w/ Tim Drea; Lee Harris | MR LIVE 11/2/22

By | November 2, 2022

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Sam hosts Tim Drea, President of the Illinois AFL-CIO, to discuss the Workers Rights Amendment that is on the state ballot next Tuesday. Then he is joined by Lee Harris, reporter at The American Prospect, to discuss her recent piece ”Industrial Policy Without Industrial Unions”. Sam begins by running through updates on charges against CVS and Wallgreens in an opioid lawsuit, the GOP continuing to lead polling for the House, the NLRB’s response to Starbucks union busting in Ithaca, and Bibi returning to the top of Israeli politics, before diving deeper into Joe Biden’s recent highlighting of the GOP’s stances on Social Security and Medicare in his campaigning. Then Tim Drea joins as he and Sam dive right into what the Workers Rights Amendment in Illinois entails, working through the right to a safe workplace and worker safety alongside securing the right to bargain, before diving into why the WRA is necessary with the rising trend of state-level attacks on workers rights already having come to Illinois, with the labor-supporting legislature successfully fighting off Bruce Rauner’s union-busting policy. After a greater discussion on Illinois as an epicenter for labor organizing in the US, Tim and Sam walk through the various fights the Illinois AFL-CIO is engaged in, and why you can’t favor creating jobs over making sure that the workers come home from them. Lee Harris then joins as she and Sam tackle the recent Inflation Reduction Act’s role in bolstering US industrial policy, exploring why industrial policy is important in a shift away from the neoliberal reliance on the free market, and why, despite that, a focus on ensuring these are unionized and well-paying industrial jobs is a necessary step. They parse through the recent job creation via the CHIPS act and the IRA, discussing how the varying support for labor across US states creates a race to the bottom to secure funding, and how private companies are already looking to get around any vague requirements for decent worker treatment. Wrapping up the interview, they explore the Biden Administration’s failure to properly address certain labor scandals, and discuss what can actually be done to help bolster the state of labor in this country.

And in the Fun Half: Sam discusses Samuel Alito’s recent attempt to use the ol’ Elizabeth Warren tactic as an excuse to undermine affirmative action, Paul from Illinois discusses bail reform, and Ben Shapiro discusses why it was wrong, not bad for Candace Owens to defend the bad AND wrong things that Kanye West was saying. Connor for Kentucky calls in about his campaign for KY’s 5th Congressional District, Glenn Greenwald appears on Tucker just in time to not address the myriad lies Tucker has been spreading that directly involve Glenn’s own reporting, and Ed from Oregon discusses the success of push-pull tactics on the right. Dennis Prager explores the complexity of lesbians and the simplicity of gay men, and Ross from Florida discusses discourse around Ukraine, plus, your calls and IMs!#podcast #news #majorityreport #interview #longformcontent #democats #labor #union #greenjobs #industrial

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Foreign [Music] [Music] Foreign [Music] Foreign [Music] Foreign [Music] Foreign [Music] [Music] They are unanimous in their hate for me And I welcome their hatred we must guard Against the acquisition of unwarranted Influence whether sought or unsought by The military industrial complex or Majority Report With Sam Cedar [Applause] S [Music] [Laughter] It is Wednesday November 2nd 2022 my name is Sam Cedar This is the five-time award-winning Majority report We are broadcasting live Steps From the Industrially ravaged Gowanus canal in The heartland of America Downtown Brooklyn USA On the program today Tim Draya president of the Illinois AFL-CIO

On the Workers rights amendment To the Illinois constitution Also on the program today reporter Lee Harris from the American Prospect On the unionization efforts And those new green industry jobs We got in the ira And the American cares Act Also on the program today fed set to Assault workers and the economy again Today With more interest rate hikes CVS and Walgreens settle opioid lawsuits For about 10 billion dollars With the midterms less than a week away Republicans seem to hold a narrow lead In the house meanwhile New Hampshire Nevada polling showing Republican gains Judge curbs the actions of the so-called Election monitoring groups in Arizona ’s with rifles National Labor Relations Board says Starbucks broke the law and shutting Down its Ithaca store To fight the union efforts there PB Netanyahu God I can’t believe I’m saying this In the lead in the Israeli elections With about 80 percent in [Music] Denmark’s Center left prevails Best numbers in about two decades for Them

The Ukraine grain export deal is back on As Russia rejoins it Though it doesn’t seem to have been uh It seems a little porous the past couple Of days a little bit of practical Consideration And I like this the treasury Department Eyeing possible investigation Into Lonnie musk’s Twitter deal Over his foreign government investors Saudi’s got a big piece in this There’s some China stuff too and it’s Very funny like Dave rubinson LeBron Will criticize China you know who also Won’t criticize China Lindsey Graham must testify According to the Supreme Court In that case in Georgia However there’s a little caveat Seems to have an out to answer any of Those questions all this and more On today’s Majority report Welcome ladies and gentlemen uh Uh thank you for joining us Emma’s out Today Dealing with a some stuff nothing Nothing bad but uh life stuff life stuff Uh she’ll be back tomorrow of course Um We are as you probably know six business No six actual days out from the Tuesday Election just a reminder we’re going to Be live Tuesday night

Um I’m not sure when we’re not sure what The uh lineup is going to be I suspect that Um We will be drunk by the end of the Evening yeah I can predict the mood yes The mood’s not going to be great and uh I’m just trying to work out a schedule In terms of what I’m going to be Drinking at what time and just how The messy it’s going to be Uh long time viewers of this program Have seen me a little bit of Loosey-goosey on the ends of nights like This and um As the the Bleaker things get the more Loosey-goosey I get as it were so Um you may want to tune in for that not Just for the sake of my in the meantime You know it would be a good idea go out And uh go around your neighborhoods I Know friends who are going down to Pennsylvania this weekend doing some uh Some door-to-door work down there Pennsylvania obviously incredibly Important Wisconsin Ohio North Carolina New Hampshire Nevada in Particular If you have the opportunity to go out Knock on some doors explain to people Why it’s very important for them to vote There are places in New York state Frankly uh where it’s also really

Important Uh here is Joe Biden Who I gotta say like he’s been out there I know everybody’s talking about how Much Obama’s been out there but I feel Like Biden has been out there in a more Effective way than than Obama was when He was in that same position back in 2010 And um And this I think it was Perhaps and I have no sense of how much It’s coming up in the context of Of each house district But one of the things that made it very Effective for Democrats in 2018 is that They had a national message which is Donald Trump sucks You can’t vote against him but you can Vote against the guy More often than not it’s a guy Who is Um his surrogate now of course there’s a Different Dynamic going on you have the You know the president of the opposite Party I think most of you are familiar That it’s uh almost a lock every year That the party in power is going to lose Seats in the House Um however The Republicans About three or four or five weeks ago Maybe even more than that Started to give the Democrats what could

Be a national message The polling seems to show that the Abortion question sort of baked in Already That there’s not a lot of growth in that Area part of it also it seems to have Like left the front pages In September in October in particular And But the fact is The Republicans have a plan to cut Social Security and Medicare And to do so even with with uh Joe Biden In office and that is to leverage the uh National debt ceiling here’s Joe Biden On that in Florida I have a brochure here it has He is he isn’t he’s positive he’s in Charge of one second this is uh Tim Scott’s uh brochure it’s Rick Scott’s Excuse me Rick Scott uh senator from Florida he is also the chair Of the national Republican Senate Re-election committee And here’s uh Biden I have the brochure here he has He is he isn’t he’s he’s in charge of Electing Republicans as Senate he’s the Head of the campaign And he laid out a clear plan he said Every five years Social Security Medicare would have to be reauthorized This is from The report I I made it larger listed all

They want to do Quote all federal legislation Sunsets please go out and it goes out of Existence in five years If the law is worth keeping Congress Will pass it again So every five years The Congress will have to vote to Reauthorize Social Security Reauthorized or else it goes away Would have to vote to reauthorize Medicare Reauthorize veterans benefits Now go down the list but guess what The very idea that a senator from Florida wants to cut Social Security Medicare and why they don’t have to just Go away they can cut it they can change It basically A senator from Florida Going after Medicare and Social Security I tell you what I know her as they Saying something doesn’t know where you All been Pardon them boy I tell you look It’s so outrageous you might even you Might not even believe it and again word For word all federal legislation sunsets Means goes away in five years if the if The law is worth keeping Congress can Pass it again In other words

It goes out of existence if Congress Doesn’t vote to keep it isn’t that Wonderful Uh there’s a couple things that are Interesting to hear about this and Understand that That means they can destroy Social Security and Medicare without even Taking a vote They do nothing They control the house they control the Senate they only have to do nothing If it goes away automatically And they could reauthorize it but with Uh 67 years is when you get to retire 69 Years when you get to retire there’s no Cost of living increases And the reason why Joe Biden says you May not believe this that there’s a Specific reason why he does that because They have done Focus test groups Over the years this is they’ve had Multiple findings like this Where they show people Republican party positions They show them the platform or they Raise like the fact that Republicans Have since 1936. since the day it was Implemented Been attempting to destroy Social Security They tell people in the focus groups This And the focus group people do not

Believe that’s their position They show them ads and they go I I don’t Now that’s that’s a lie and they’ll and And the focus testers are like what do You mean it’s a lie and they go like I Just don’t think that that’s their Position it’s not real it’s not real They just can’t believe that there are Politicians who are out to do this and Let’s be clear The idea That the Republican Party Is willing to pursue things that the Majority of Americans are against We have seen this we see it with Abortion We see it with a whole host of other Policies they have worked it out Where minoritarian rule is possible it Exists in the Senate It exists through gerrymandering across The states It exists in the context of the Electoral College the last two Republican presidents Who have been elected to this country For the first time Did so With out the majority of votes So they can get away with this They work for a very specific group of People that are not interested in things Like Social Security and Medicare VA benefits I’m going to go on and on

That’s just the reality of it You say what you want about the Democrats And and we certainly do But you have one party that is out And you want to talk about enabling the Democrats to be crappy when you talk About cutting Social Security and Medicare it doesn’t make it that hard uh You really load the bar So uh get out and do some work if you Can over the next couple of days Um and You know for some people Uh abortion may be the issue For people my age the idea of Social Security Medicare going away in five Years It’s a bummer I’m looking forward to that Medicare Yeah let increasingly minoritarian Congress deal with these programs I mean just I can’t even begin to tell You I just got like like the like health Insurance stuff is just the greatest Pain in the ass I feel like I have a Second job Uh meanwhile speaking of our first job We have a couple sponsors today One of them is zbiotics So zbiotics is a probiotic drink It breaks down the byproduct of alcohol Which I did not know this Turns out to be like I always assume

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Majority to get your gifts now and help Support the show that’s established Titles.com majority coupon code majority Saves you ten percent Okay uh we’re gonna take a quick break When we come back we’re going to be Talking to tendrea president of the Illinois AFL CIO open before we go I Just want to say this uh yesterday we uh We ran an ad Uh for a product that Um ostensibly uh does Um Composting in your kitchen I haven’t Gotten the product yet and uh waiting on It to try it out We got some feedback from people who Were very skeptical of this and I’m Looking into it so we pulled the links Um I don’t wanna you know look you you can Look it up yourself if you heard the ad Yesterday I’m gonna check it out we may or may not Run it but We don’t run ads for products that we Either well for the most part I use all Of these products Um but When we get wind to something that we’re We’re not sure on on on its quality uh Or that it lives up to the promise we’re Not going to run ads on it so I Appreciate the feedback uh we’re going

To hold off on those until we check it Out a little bit more Quick break we’ll be right back with Tim Draya president of the Illinois AFL-CIO To talk about the um The worker rights amendment in Illinois [Music] We are back Sam Cedar on the majority Report it is a pleasure to uh welcome to The program Tim Draya he is the President of the Illinois AFL-CIO And he’s here to talk about The workers right Amendment this is on The ballot uh Tim isn’t it the in in six Days Six days that’s correct yeah okay all Right so what is the workers rights uh Amendment well the workers rights Amendment will amend the um Bill of Rights of the Illinois constitution to Give workers the fundamental right to Collectively bargain uh the fundamental Right to a safe workplace no Diminishment of uh safety worker safety Worker rights in current statute and Prohibit uh well preserve the right to Collective bargaining in Illinois So this is basically a way to inhibit What we’ve seen really over the past 10 15 years Um I mean it’s existed down south quite A bit but Wisconsin Um I guess it was 10 12 years ago Scott Walker largely funded by the Koch

Brothers and the Americans for Prosperity started this almost like Experiment where they’re going to see uh Well how we can destroy things like the Safety net in Wisconsin the Health Care In Wisconsin and the right for workers To organize Um and so this this sort of heads it off Right will you talk about that Dynamic Yeah exactly well in in 2014 uh the Voters of Illinois elected Bruce Browner Uh who wanted to be another Scott Walker And he came in and he held the state Budget hostage for two and a half years Until he could try to get a worker Friendly majority legislation teacher to Bust unions especially public employee Unions and the the Leadership of each house of the general Assembly said no we’re not going to do That and they finally broke Bruce Rauner On his what he caught his turnaround Agenda uh and this turnaround agenda was You know to inhibit uh Place Restrictions on Public Employee Collective bargaining lower prevailing Wage decrease the minimum wage and a Whole slew of just different worker Safety laws that have been passed over The last 120 years Illinois has some Very very strong safety laws on the Books and mainly because we’ve had Horrific accidents in the coal mines in Other places uh throughout our history

So we have some really really good Statutes and he wanted to roll those Back and now is not a time to be rolling Back and then we hit the pandemic and And You know people who work for a living Went to work and didn’t have the proper PPE and things like that but they still Showed up and we had literally people Dying on the job uh through coven and It’s like we can’t do this anymore we Need constitutional guarantees that this Can’t happen All right and to be clear this this is Going to put it in the Constitution it’s Going to make it um extremely it’s not Going to make it impossible uh for it to Be reversed but it’s going to make it Extremely difficult right for uh you Know a a fluky right winger who gets in There uh and they may leverage these Things and they can’t turn this stuff Around I mean I think like you know uh Uh people I don’t know you know Illinois Is one of the epicenters of unionization In this country right I mean like you Know the Haymarket uh uh riots that took Place there 100 uh I can’t 150 years uh Somewhere around there Um and uh so give me your sense of like The thing I like about this too is it in The same way that Wisconsin was being Set up to be sort of like a a model of How you destroy the social fabric uh

That they were hoping to export to other States and to some extent they’ve done This Um with some measures this this could Function as the as a sort of the Antidote to that And and you know Sam what I really like About this is we’re going to the voters We’re not going to legislators we’re Going directly to the voters and saying Do you want You know workplace safety in the Constitution do you want the right to Collectively bargain to come together With your co-workers and and have a Voice for change so we’re going to the Voters and asking them rather than Legislators who may or not be controlled By billionaire interest so that’s what The Constitution is is the a social Contract with the voters and the Politicians and we’re going to the Voters and saying is this what you want Your state to be and right it’s the Enthusiasm and everything we’ve gotten Is just unprecedented and it’s exciting It’s exciting to be a part of this I Want to get into some of the specifics Of it just you know cover some of the Some of the the specific points of this But I I also just want to like uh you Know stay with this idea for just one More moment it which it’s going to be Fascinating to see

I mean we have we don’t have nearly the Union density that we’ve had Historically and we’ve lost that over The course of the past 30 or 40 years But it’s going to be fascinating to see What this does Across the entire ticket uh across the Entire you know all the uh the elections That are happening because if this Brings out Um Union folks on Moss and their their Their their their their their their Their spouses their kids their friends And this becomes also a model Uh for other states when we head into a Presidential election in terms of like Turnout Yes absolutely I I couldn’t agree more You’ve you said it very very succinctly Uh Again there’s a lot of enthusiasm and From all parts of the state from all Sectors of the of the of the movement And uh you know our message is we’re About I 18 of the work of the workforce In Illinois so you know another thing we Are You know working hard on this campaign Not only eight for not only 18 of the Workforce but 100 of the workforce is You know somebody that leaves home in The morning or before their shift starts And you know kisses a loved one goodbye And say I’m going to work this amendment

Protects that person and and so it is uh We’re just telling everybody you know Your mother your brother your cousin Your neighbor everybody get out and vote For yourselves and we should say that um The states that I I mean industries that Have uh some unionization regardless Whether it’s across the industry on Balance everyone makes more money uh States that uh don’t have Right to Work So-called right to work laws Um Everybody on balance makes more money up To like 15 if I’m if I’m not mistaken Um all right so just uh what are what Are some of the key like This makes it it protects the right to Unionize Um what does it do in terms of like Agency fees because over the past like Uh five or six years we’ve seen the Supreme Court just eviscerate Um uh unions in any way they can uh what Does it do for things like agency fees And and and and negotiations and and What That’s a that’s a great question when we We fielded quite a bit for public Employees you know people that work for The state of Illinois the city of Chicago or the City of Springfield or Wherever Um you know they will still be under the Janus decision uh you know the that

Which overturned 40 Years of precedent a Unanimous decision in 1983 that was Overturned by the Trump Supreme Court Um and so they are basically right to Work but there are Protections in the Illinois Labor Relations Act on what They can negotiate for working Conditions and and uh hours and and Benefits and and things like that so They’ll they’ll preserve that right even Though they don’t have to pay the agency Fees under Janice they’ll still be Protected on what they can negotiate for Which in Wisconsin what they did is they Just took away the ability to basically To negotiate for so many things that you Know it was basically Um it’s very very hard to improve the Lives of Working Families in Wisconsin Because of that uh so that’s the agency Fees is we preserve the rights for Public employees uh to negotiate uh in The private sector you know we have just The fundamental right for somebody to Engage in collective bargaining but we Also have uh you know things like the Minimum wage and and workers comp Unemployment we won’t have any you know Workplace safety laws uh you know I was A coal miner so uh you know there was a Lot of work fake workplace safety laws Involved in the mines you know those Cannot be diminished and and it’s just So important that uh you know workplace

Safety is just uh you know If somebody as I mentioned earlier has Somebody’s leaving for work and they Kiss their loved one goodbye we Certainly want that worker to come back And say right because I’m again you know Going to work is one thing we love to Create jobs but we want people to come Home even more yep all right uh so Tim Where can people get more information on This if they want to um uh if they want To help Um you know uh we still got it like six Days going out there telling their Neighbors about it um if they want to Get more information on it where can People go we go to Illinoisaflcio.org Il AFL hyphen CIO dot Org and that will direct you to the Workers rights amendment page web page And there’s plenty of information there All right we will put a link to that at Majority.fm as well as the podcast and YouTube description uh Tim Andrea President of the Illinois AFL CIO uh Good luck I really uh I think this is a Really important Amendment admit not Just for Illinois but I think this is This is something that like you know can Be one of those pieces of legislation or Referendums that that can really uh both Protect workers rights and build upon Workers rights in in around the country Really appreciate your time thank you

Sam best wishes all right bye-bye all Right folks I’m going to take a quick Break when we come back we’re going to Be talking to Lee Harris reporter at the American Prospect about the um Unionization efforts and Promises Maybe a little bit unkept so far in uh These industrial Um uh policy bills that have passed uh I’ll explain what that means when we Come back [Music] Foreign [Music] Foreign We are back Sam Cedar on the majority Report it’s a pleasure to Welcome to the Program Lee Harris she’s a reporter at The American Prospect you can find uh Her work and all the other great work at The prospect Prospect.org uh lee thanks for joining Us thanks for having me on Sam so uh Industrial policy without industrial Unions Um When we’re talking about industrial Policy the The the bill was called the inflation Reduction Act It really is questionable as to whether It really addresses inflation but Um that seemed to be on everybody’s uh Lips at the time and Joe manchin really

Likes that but it turns out that That that bill in particular although There are some I think arguably and chit In the chips bill Um are more akin to Industrial policy Would just explain that concept for Folks yeah I mean just quickly to say I Think the inflation reduction act Branding of the bill was kind of Brilliant it met the moment and yeah it Probably doesn’t reduce inflation a Whole lot short term but long term uh You know capital investment and Onshoring jobs seems like exactly the Recipe to avoid uh bad inflation long Term yeah what’s industrial policy it’s Something we have been doing uh not Explicitly for decades I mean we never Stopped doing industrial policy it means The government taking a hand in private Sector production it’s obviously that’s Happened uh for years whether it’s the Internet or any number of tech Innovations that came out of military Research uh or the number of subsidies We hand out to Big National Champion Corporations but the idea of calling it Industrial policy now means we’re Abandoning the neoliberal conceit that Oh the free market operates by itself And and government is hands off and We’re saying no we’re actually stepping In to compete with China create jobs for American workers which on the hole seems

Like uh well a mixed bag development Geopolitically but a really good Development for American workers if it Can deliver now and I want to give it Back to you but but Um the story uh that I’m coming on to Talk about is Called industrial policy without Industrial unions because I’ve been Looking at whether these big new Subsidies for green manufacturing are Actually going to deliver on Biden’s Promise of creating good union jobs or Even good jobs for that matter And and and that how like explicit and And I guess and and I I want to agree With you both that it was the the the Calling it the inflation reduction Act Was from a marketing standpoint I think A great idea and when we look at what We’re experiencing now it is not like Classic uh monetary inflation as much as It is a function of supply lines and Logistics and arguably uh Market Concentration that is allowing some some Uh some some price gouging Um and so it to the extent that these Bills you know address that which I Think is probably sort of like a little Bit of a bank shot but but but in in Some instance particularly with with a Semiconductor pretty I guess Straightforward Um where was there ever like an explicit

Like you know the green New Deal of Course was very much explicit about Creating unionized jobs in New sectors How How explicit was that in the context of Of the chips uh bill and the uh the IRA Yeah I think that’s exactly what Interests me about this question is that We didn’t do the green New Deal Um and and that in my view that moment Has kind of passed we did something else Which was an enormous investment and There’s Um there’s big potential upside to it But the big Um one of the main selling points of the Green New Deal was creating really high Quality jobs for workers and and we Should do that I think because it’s a Good thing but also Um because it’s a great political Strategy especially in hollowed-out Areas where you know what are called Energy communities in the inflation Reduction act meaning that’s the like Dumb euphemism for uh areas like West Virginia that are going to see Decreasing investment in the coal sector Swap that out with clean energy Investments like there is a new battery Plant that’s opening up in West Virginia That’s going to be uh staffed by Mine Workers Um anyway that’s a long way of saying uh

That it’s it’s an open question whether The IRA will actually deliver on that Green New Deal vision of creating good Jobs so maybe if I could talk about the Auto sector in particular for a second That’d be helpful yes and and my Understanding is that the vast majority Of those Auto sector jobs like when We’re talking about electric vehicles is Happening in Southern States in red States where there is less likely to be Robust unions in fact less rights to Unionize in those States I mean we just Spoke to Tim adrea uh AFL-CIO president In Illinois they’re passing a Essentially like uh I don’t know you Know it’s a worker rights amendment but It is a almost like an anti uh so-called Right to work uh uh Amendment which Would allow for more unionization a lot Of these electric vehicle Um plants are opening up in states where Unionization is unionizing is hard to do Yeah so my story actually specifically Looks at a plant in Illinois for this Reason it looks at the new rivian truck Facility in the electric trucks um in Normal Illinois there is and and workers Want to unionize rivie and there’s an Organizing drive it’s not clear that It’s especially promising uh and and Part of the reason that Democrats in the Couple of blue states that have gotten Bigger Investments and there there are

Several I mean there’s production in Ohio and Illinois and a number of parts Of the Midwest part of the reason that Democrat politicians even like pritzker Who’s been fairly pro-union have been Unwilling to come out and go to bat for These Union drives is this Dynamic where They’re scared that companies will leave For the non-union South so it’s this It’s this gotcha where if you raise Worker standards too much in the north Um uh companies are out of there which Is why these kinds of negotiations Should be done at a federal level for Workers if states are competing for the Cheapest Workforce it’s it’s a race to The bottom just to talk quickly about Before you go back Um I just want to say there’s an Interesting Dynamic where I think it’s Now pretty well known that Tesla which Was of course not Elon musk’s baby Created you know out of the Sea Foam but Uh what was created by Obama the Obama Administration’s big investment in uh in Green energy Um in 2008 that’s now the biggest Non-union U.S automaker and I think People know that Um obviously there are a number of major Non-union automakers uh that are going To be receiving subsidies from the Inflation reduction act what’s crazy to Me is that even at the big three Union

Automakers so that’s Ford’s delanis Chrysler and GM these new Investments That they’re going to be getting might Not create good jobs or even union jobs So the back story there is that after The Great Recession United Auto Workers Took huge concessions and they agreed That newly hired workers could be paid Half the Union’s salary reducing their Wages from 28 an hour to just 14 18 Dollars an hour that created the second Tier of workers uh that are paid less And that and and okay you could argue That that makes some sense at the time When unions were bargaining from a Position of weakness it was Controversial at the time what’s really Outrageous is that now as taxpayer Dollars are pouring into these factories In order to bring jobs back on Shore and Auto Auto Workers should be bargaining From the position of strength more lower Tier jobs are being created rather than Fixing that problem of the past decade And bringing everyone up to the same Tier and just as a final Point these These three Union automakers where every New shop is supposed to be Union they’ve Actually found a loophole to be able to Add non-union shops which is that with These new battery producers that they’re Creating these new battery plants They’re structuring them as joint Venture companies so so companies shared

With some battery producer like uh like Korean algae and then they say oh Because it’s a joint venture with a Non-union company they don’t have to be Union so there’s a big battle ahead that Actually is just kicking off uh this Week over whether those new battery Plans are going to be unionized at all Where does that battle take place I mean If they’re getting subsidies From the U.S government I I guess Presumably from treasury or or from like I mean like what who how does that who Polices that I mean because obviously The the The standard in terms of like if if There was an opportunity and and I Wonder if it if they’re okay uh let me Just slow down the legislatively there Could have been Tighter sort of like requirements Associated with this funding Can there be retroactively uh unilateral Um I guess creation of these standards From the president from the executive Office a and then B who is who does the Policing of this Great so Um two levels of the answer there’s like Hard power soft power hard power would Be writing into every contract and yeah You’re right it’s treasury it’s also the Department of energy is giving Manufacturing credits and just um

Manufacturing loans to these big Producers the way they did with Tesla Um one thing would be for the Department Of energy to say any company that takes This loan Um uh has to allow card check Unionization or like unionization Strategies that Um uh that give give workers a fair shot At unionizing at a really low low Union Density sector American labor law is pretty anti-union Though and so um uh in the past Sometimes Um uh those efforts at the federal level Have been challenged in the courts but What um the Biden Administration could Certainly do is something that actually United Auto Workers are calling on them To do just this week which is Negotiate directly with companies Um uh for labor standards I’ll give you An example so the battery maker um ultim Sells which got a 2.5 billion dollar Loan from the Department of energy is Not recognizing the majority of workers Who have signed cards there authorizing United Auto Workers to represent them UAW originally tried to get card check Unionization before they even started But um but the company ignored them and Um uh the uow just announced that They’re going to file for a union Election through the nlrb process which

Could be slower in cost later Um and so uh the Bible Administration Could come out there and say we’re Handing you this multi-billion dollar Load of taxpayer money and could Privately put uh put pressure on the Company and by the way the company That’s probably expecting more subsidies Down the line and then one other example If I could give it to you is is Hyundai Which is currently caught in a child Labor scandal so Hyundai has been caught Not once but several times using Um uh using child laborers as long as as Young as 12 years old Um and uh and simultaneously Hyundai is Lobbying uh the Biden Administration to Get earlier access to these subsidies They don’t have an EV plant in the U.S Up and running yet and Um and the uh the requirement Um sorry the the new EV subsidy is Require cars to be uh their buy American Standards they need to be made Domestically so Hyundai’s like we don’t Have red plan up and running here yet But let us but we’re a major trade Partner let us get access to those Subsidies so on the one hand they’re Asking for something from the Bible Administration earlier access to Subsidies on the other hand they’re Embarrassed and they’ve just been caught In an outrageous child labor Scandal so

UAW has said to the Biden Administration Use this opportunity to say Hyundai Raise your uh standards for workers and For instance give workers an opportunity For card check unionizing Nation or any Number of other measures that could get Them closer to your union the Biden Administration has been silent on it so I think it’s a it’s a pretty Um uh disappointing sign uh in this Broader question that I think is going To unfold over the next couple years of Whether green manufacturing as it’s on Short is actually going to bring you Know create good jobs for Americans so When uh my car company goes to the Energy Department I don’t automatically Qualify qualify for a loan I go through A loan application process and and I Might negotiate in terms of like what The rates are what the payment schedule Is none of it this stuff is not all Pre-baked in and so the idea that the Energy Department could go like oh you Know what you get you want you know We got three tiers of term you know Terms on this we got the you know sort Of like the gold standard if you want it But to get the gold standard you need to Allow X Y and Z to happen in terms of of Of unionization and then I mean they They have the authority to do to to Finesse that type of thing Totally and by the way Republicans in

Right to work states are incredibly good At doing the opposite at coordinating to Prevent Union drives so whenever there’s A whiff of unionizing I have an example Of this in my story uh uh the state will Get together and um sometimes illegally Republican politicians have Uh have said we’re withholding subsidies Over this over this question so Democrats should uh match them with Their own game and use some soft power To to get Union concessions out of these Big companies that are getting billions In taxpayer dollars what what is Um what is it uh What is it that that that like what’s The is this a function of the Administration just being like Oh we Just can’t get our together type of Situation or is it more like for us what We want to do is get the jobs here Because that’s going to look better in Terms of the numbers in in the short Term and the value of unionization is Just not as important I mean I suspect It’s a little bit of both but the latter Must implicate it a lot Um it’s a really good point so Um one thing is to say yeah I do think There are um there’s a significant uh Set up set within the Biden Administration that really wants these To be good union jobs and so you’ll see In some of the Department of energy

Contracts I mentioned Um uh you’ll see them trying to Negotiate in high labor standards as Part of the procurement process so that Means the companies they select for Loans uh one of the criteria that they Might be using is Um is their openness to uh labor drives Which is really promising Um and the other thing is yeah exactly Like you said uh a lot of these Industries have been so offshored that The kind of gamble is to First onshore Them and then unionize them to say Um I mean this is the difference between The inflation reduction Act and the Green New Deal the inflation reduction Act is an industrial policy program it Goes through big companies it says we’re A partnership between the public and Private sector we’re working through Private companies not you know through a Grassroots labor movement and so Um so the gamble which really is a Gamble is to First onshore the jobs and Have them be in America at all and then Try and see if you can raise labor Standards Um I mean that I I I I can understand I guess the logic Of that on some level but I also wonder If there isn’t if there isn’t like a a Sweet spot where it’s sort of like we Know how much this this 2.5 billion

Dollar subsidy is worth you and and if You have to give some back in terms of Unionization or power to the workers we Know what figure where that lands Um but let me ask you this and I’m not Sure that you would have insight into This but over the course of your Reporting You’re giving out the the subsidies out Of the energy Department Maybe the treasury Those people I I just assume like the Staffing of Those of that agency in particular but Others their primary focus may be around These questions of energy and of maybe Of Transportation or of industrial Policy As opposed to say like the labor Department which is more oriented Towards like protecting a workers rights Like where these grants emanate from How much of like what agency that ends Up issuing these grants will Influence or implicate the the strings That are attached to them in other words Like you know Does labor send over some people over to Energy department and go like hey guys Like this is I mean how does that work So I don’t know that the right way to think About it is as like competition between Um departments there may be some of that

My sense just from interviewing people And Reporting is that at least a Significant set within the Biden Administration is and that doesn’t count Whatever civil servants but are pretty Sold that in order to make this work Politically they have to be decent jobs Like if you’re someone who’s a big green Energy booster Um uh you know unlike the obama-era Investments I think there’s much more Consensus now that we can’t make these jobs but Um to your point There is tons of lobbying of the Department of Labor for instance to Reduce uh uh standards for these new Emerging green Industries so for example In the Solar industry Um there’s a there’s a long-standing Complaint uh by labor unions that um big Solar companies will have been lobbying To get this new designation called solar Installer that the unions say I think Correctly is just an excuse to not to Train this new labor force very well and To give them a really limited set of Skills that they can pay them not very Much so for example just a union laborer You don’t it is a laborer you don’t call Them a bridge installer or a road Installer a union laborer has a whole Range of skills that make him marketable In a number of different uh Industries

Um and and there are big fights right Now anyway between Um these new green Industries and Between the labor department over the Pay level and the number of skills that The new green Workforce is going to be Trained up with I I feel like that that’s modeled in Some ways off of like a cable uh and Telecommunications where they really uh Verizon in particular I think uh with Wireless tried to basically use that as A way of of getting rid of a lot of Their unionized labor force uh by by Changing those designations Um well it’s it’s a fascinating piece And so let me ask you this what What can like we do like from the union Perspective right like there’s there are You know there is an attempt by Organized labor I would imagine and some Elements within the administration that Are like you know we should be putting Uh these sort of like Riders on these Deals more or less what what can we do Outside of that world and you know how Does how does US knowing about it where Do we exert some influence as as Citizens I mean this is a conversation That that David Dayan and I have had Many many times over the years but where From your perspective like what what do They say like I mean obviously like Talking to you they perceive this as

Like you know it’s gonna activate you Know uh forces within society that may Influence the administration but but how How does that work I mean okay if I could just contest the Question a little bit uh sure you know We have Um We have lots of participatory kind of Civic democracy but even the I think Whatever Ordinary People can probably Like give to Union drives or something I Don’t know but uh but but there I mean There’s a really interesting fight ahead But it’s basically a fight between a Really depleted Union sector and a Heavily subsidized employer class to see What can be extracted from them and I’m Sure on the margins like concerned Citizens can do stuff but part of the Reason we’re in this position is that Um associational democracy you know Democratic organizations like unions Have been completely hollowed out in Favor of I don’t know like ngos and Random citizens who want to get involved In stuff so I would just say it’s a Really interesting and important fight I Don’t know maybe I don’t know call your Congressman or something but mostly Um uh this is going to be a fight uh by Um a a fairly radical and and Um Uh Angry and passionate

Um segment of the labor movement there’s Um there’s a a part of UAW which has had A number of corruption scandals and has Had a really tough past couple of years But there’s a reform movement called uh Uawd um the d stands for democracy Um that’s trying to uh kind of rally United Auto Workers to to take on more Non-unionized shops and to come out and And be much much more ambitious in the Number of sectors that they’re trying to Organize going Beyond just you know College graduate student workers and and Kind of professional class workers and Really trying to organize big new Industries I think that’s an ambitious And exciting and it’s also going to be Um an uphill battle one other Dynamic to Watch is that Um and it comes up in my story uh a lot Of big name companies like rivian and Tesla uh rely heavily on subcontractors Who drive down wages and um and often Allow for all kinds of Labor violations To go unchecked so like in in the Instance of Meridian Um they used a Chinese subcontractor That uh used two further subcontractors To fly in Mexican workers to build the Rivian facility in Illinois and then Subsequently denied them uh uh wages uh There was a there was a wage theft Scandal that was thankfully rectified by The Illinois Attorney General but but

That kind of story is really common so I’m reporting now on the fact that in The Solar industry even though we’ve Seen tons of investments in a scaling up Of solar wages are actually falling for Workers partly because you have these Exploitative subcontractors and temp Agents temp staffing agencies that skim Off the top uh of of the hourly wage That these workers make anyway it’s it’s Um to come back to your question uh what Can ordinary kind of observers do I think uh get it getting involved with With uh the labor fight in whatever way They can and paying attention to these Big new industries that are gonna that Are being kind of stood up right now Whose worker standards will matter for The next several decades I I I’d add too That I think that you know it doesn’t Necessarily Um It’s not necessarily intuitive but just The idea of stories like this getting More exposure Creates a pressure on the administration They they are Political Animals the the If they perceive that more people are Paying attention to these Dynamics they Feel pressure regardless of you know What is in their hearts or what they Desire because they’re definitely Getting pressure from uh the other side Uh Lee Harris uh at the American

Prospect we’ll put a link to Industrial Policy without industrial unions uh at Majority.fm in our podcast and YouTube Descriptions thanks so much for your Time today really uh Great Piece Thank you Sam All right folks gonna take a quick break Head into the fun half of the program We’re in we will have fun We have uh Numerous clips We are Six days out from the election if There’s something that you can do to uh To drive a little bit of the vote Not a bad time to do it It’s probably the best time to do it Um We got to take uh A quick break Senator Marsha Blackburn Oh glad to have you with us Um it would be so awesome you waited on Hold yeah on the IM it would be so Awesome if there was a way to interact Or ask a question to the guest yes it is Your interview but maybe beforehand Member can submit uh some questions and You can pick a couple to ask in the Interview If we could ever find out Um If we could ever figure out like a like An efficient mechanism to do that that Would be good

I don’t know what that would be maybe Maybe it’s a Discord thing yeah yeah or Like yeah because maybe because I know We get IMS throughout so it might just Be hard to like filter through the irons Would be difficult Discord you could do Like a little just the same favorite Channel set up today’s guest and and Questions and maybe pull a couple that’s A good idea look at that look at how Innovative we are Live on air wow That’s great stuff maybe we should let Uh Libertarians call in and talk to the Guests too Um Uh really cool says uh call email tweet Your Congress members uh post-election To support the pro act that’s what you Can do indeed Um All right we’re gonna take a quick break Uh just a reminder the show relies on The support of people like you to Survive and thrive you can become a Member at jointhemajorityreport.com when You do You get the um Pre-half Free of commercials you get the fun half And we get to figure out maybe in the Discord thing uh we can do I mean I Think that would be a good member perk So may I talk to Kyle and figure out

Maybe there’s a way to do that Um in some way uh where you know members Can ask uh putting questions and we can Try and get to a couple of those uh During the course of the interview Um it’s a good idea Senator Marsh Blackburn see I’m not all Bad there she goes great job thanks Great job for that today Um join the majorityreport.com become a Member today uh we can always use your Help and as always if you are in a Situation where you can’t afford it but You want access to the fun half send us An email at majority reporters gmail.com Put uh in the subject line member show And uh give us a little time we will get To you though um and if for some reason You have fallen through the cracks uh uh You sent an email you never heard Anything back send us send it one more Time for us Um and bear with us appreciate it uh Probably happened after the election but Um nevertheless send that in also Justcoffee.coa Fair Trade coffee tea or Chocolate use the coupon code majority Get 10 off I mentioned Scott Walker in That uh first interview with uh Illinois Uh president of the AFL-CIO In 2010 there was a bunch of protests In Madison Wisconsin Against what Scott Walker was doing they Lasted for like months

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