Background Briefing September 4, 2023

The Summer of Strikes Enters the Fall With Energized Labor Movements From Hollywood to Detroit

We begin on this Labor Day as the summer of strikes is about to go into the fall with the UAW contract expiring on September 14, leading to a possible walk-out that would shut down the Big Three automakers over issues involving the switch to electric vehicles. Joining us to assess the state of working America and the energized union movements from Hollywood to Detroit is Lane Windham, Associate Director of Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor and co-director of WILL Empower (that’s Women Innovating Labor Leadership). She is the author of Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide.


Wage Disparity Grows as CEOs Write Their Own Multi Million Compensations, Buying Back Stock to Boost Their Earnings

Then while corporate America beats down workers and fights unions, the wage disparity between CEOs and workers on the shop floor grows, with executives able to write their own multi million dollar compensations as they buy back stock to boost their earnings at the expense of R&D and productive investments for long-term growth. Joining us is Sarah Anderson, who directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Sarah is lead author of over 20 annual “Executive Excess” reports and is the co-editor of Her books include Field Guide to the Global Economy and Alternatives to Economic Globalization, and she just released the 2023 Executive Excess report, available at the Institute for Policy Studies.


How Much of the Billions in the IRA and CHIPS Act Will End Up in the Pockets of Workers?

Then finally we speak with Lee Harris, a staff writer at The American Prospect and the co-founder of New York Focus, an investigative news site on New York politics. We discuss her recent articles at The American Prospect, “Phoenix Cuts Electrician Pay and Sends In Taiwanese Workers” and “Biden Administration to Restore Labor Rule Gutted in 1980s.”