In the 1970s, many left organizations encouraged their members to get traditional (however they chose to define that) working-class jobs. They hoped to play a part in amping up class struggle, leading fights against bosses, and replacing bureaucratic union leaders. They also hoped to recruit workers to socialist politics and to transform groups rooted in the student movement into groups rooted in the working-class.
As a result, a few thousand former student radicals got jobs as miners, auto workers, steel workers, truck drivers, railroad workers and phone company technicians. Others took the same class-struggle outlook with them as they became public employees, such as teachers, social workers, or public transit workers.
Join us for a discussion with a few who participated in that process as they discuss their experiences, what they learned from them, how their groups were affected, and what lessons there might be for a new generation of radicals looking for ways to make their jobs places where they can fight for democracy, workers' power, and socialism.
We will be hearing from the following panelists:
Robert Bartlett, who organized in rail and teaching.
Wendy Thompson, who organized as an auto worker for 33 years.
Warren Mar, who organized in the Hotel and Restaurant Union.