Unions are supposed to help workers have jobs that are safe, fairly compensated, and have opportunities for upward mobility. But unions are having trouble doing that these days, in large part because so many legislators and executives (like the ones on Undercover Boss) are going so far to limit their power.
Clearly I'm not one of those people who can keep my blog up-to-the-minute, but I want to mention two more things about my visit to Detroit, even though I'm actually two states beyond at this point.
Before I left town, I had lunch with some staff members of Labor Notes, an incredible and radical organization/magazine that provides a forum for union activists to honestly examine problems within the labor movement (i.e., not just ever-weakening labor laws and employer offensives, but problems like weak unions and union leaders not doing their job). Similar to Bitch, they're a nonprofit organization that publishes a magazine. They also publish pamphlets and books (including one of my favorites, The Troublemakers Handbook: How to fight back where you work and win) and organize a bi-annual Labor Notes conference. I highly encourage everyone to read what happened at their most recent conference in April. There's some f'd-up stuff going on in union organizing these days.
In the frenzy of preparing for my first Women, Action, and the Media (WAM!) conference, I'd arranged a flight that arrived in Boston a day before the conference actually began. Not cool since my hotel room share wasn't starting until tomorrow.
I wasn't too worried because I had a layover in Minneapolis and I managed to convince myself that surely the fine folks at Northwest would let me bump my flight to tomorrow and let me spend a day with my mom.