Labor editors Leon Fink and Jennifer Luff interviewed Andy Stern—for fifteen years the most influential labor leader in the United States—two months after he stepped down from the presidency of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in May 2010. Here Stern ranges widely, recalling his days as a young social worker and organizer, then as the national organizing director, his involvement in the Beverly Enterprises and Justice for Janitors campaigns, and his emergence in the mid-1990s, in a cadre of other advancing organizing directors, into the leadership of his international union. Despite Stern's intense strategic planning and high hopes for change within SEIU, the AFL-CIO, and, after 2005, Change to Win, he unabashedly faces the limits of what his union was able to accomplish. While generally defending his own actions in internal controversies that swirled around his leadership, he delivers a surprising critique of ruling-class power in America as the chief source of labor's current predicament.
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