February 28, 2014
Region too important to ignore
“The center of political gravity in the country is shifting toward the South, which means it’s not an option to not have a southern strategy,” says Chris Kromm with the Institute for Southern Studies, who spoke at our Feb. 17 panel at Duke about how a southern workers movement can change the nation.
The forces of organized greed who view the South as their base of power fear a resurgent organized opposition here.
Shifting demographics in the South – the growing Latino population and the return migration of African-Americans from northern cities since the end of Jim Crow – mean the groups most receptive to the idea of unions and collective action are growing in the South.
Combine these “newcomers” with the 47 percent of whites who view unions “very favorably” or “mostly favorably”, and the stakes for organized greed become clear.
“That’s why they have to fight something like the VW campaign so hard,” says Kromm.
“Workers will always be ready to organize in the South. It’s about whether or not labor has a strategy to address the occasion.”