Incorruptible Mass

UAW, unions, and worker power

October 06, 2023 Anna Callahan
UAW, unions, and worker power
Incorruptible Mass
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Incorruptible Mass
UAW, unions, and worker power
Oct 06, 2023
Anna Callahan

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Today we talk with Evan MacKay, President of the Harvard Graduate Students Union about workers rights. We cover the UAW strikes across the country as well as what is happening here in Massachusetts, including worker-centered policies like worker safety and right to strike.

Evan MacKay joins Jordan Berg Powers, Jonathan Cohn, and Anna Callahan to chat about Massachusetts politics. This is the audio version of the Incorruptible Mass podcast, season 5 episode 27. You can watch the video version on our YouTube channel.

You’re listening to Incorruptible Mass. Our goal is to help people transform state politics: we investigate why it’s so broken, imagine what we could have here in MA if we fixed it, and report on how you can get involved.

To stay informed:
* Subscribe to our YouTube channel
* Subscribe to the podcast (
* Sign up to get updates at
* Donate to the show at

Show Notes Transcript

Please donate to the show!

Today we talk with Evan MacKay, President of the Harvard Graduate Students Union about workers rights. We cover the UAW strikes across the country as well as what is happening here in Massachusetts, including worker-centered policies like worker safety and right to strike.

Evan MacKay joins Jordan Berg Powers, Jonathan Cohn, and Anna Callahan to chat about Massachusetts politics. This is the audio version of the Incorruptible Mass podcast, season 5 episode 27. You can watch the video version on our YouTube channel.

You’re listening to Incorruptible Mass. Our goal is to help people transform state politics: we investigate why it’s so broken, imagine what we could have here in MA if we fixed it, and report on how you can get involved.

To stay informed:
* Subscribe to our YouTube channel
* Subscribe to the podcast (
* Sign up to get updates at
* Donate to the show at

Hello and welcome to Incorruptible Mass. This podcast is here to help us all transform state politics. We know that Massachusetts can represent the needs of the vast majority of the residents of our beautiful state and that with the knowledge that we need, we can all do it together.

Today we are going to be talking about the UAW and about unions, and we are going to touch on a whole lot of things. We're going to talk about the local organizing at Harvard graduate students as well as more broadly, graduate students here in Massachusetts. We are going to be talking about the UAW and their big strikes nationwide against the auto companies.

We are also going to be talking about what is happening here in our state and how the UAW is involved with workplace safety, rent control, right to strike. And of course, we'll talk a little bit about our lack of democracy at our state house and our state legislature because, hey. It's Incorruptible Mass, we love to talk about that.

And before we go on, I am going to introduce our regulars, and we have an amazing guest, so don't think it's just the three of us. I'm first going to introduce our regulars, and I will start with Jordan. 

Jordan Berg powers. He him. And I am coming from Worcester, Massachusetts. I have ten, well oh God, 13 years working.

I'm sorry, I was trying to do the math, and then I lost track of the math. 13 years experience in Massachusetts politics and organizing. I feel like I could say it now.

I'm the former executive director of Mass Alliance. It is now former enough that I feel fine saying that. Awesome. And Jonathan.

Jonathan Cohn. He him. His joining from Boston and have now a decade of work on different kind of issue and electoral campaigns in Massachusetts.

I appreciate how Jordan had that. Wow. I'm old realization when calculating the number.

And I am Anna Callahan coming at you from Medford.

She. Her and I have been very involved, especially in local organizing for seven or more years, but in state organizing for two or three years. So really loving the work here in Massachusetts.

And I am so excited to introduce Evan MacKay, who is the president of the Harvard Graduate Student Union. Evan, can you introduce yourself and then we'd love to hear a little bit of a story about your history with HGSU. 

Absolutely. So happy to be here with you all. My name is Evan McKay. They, them theirs coming at you from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I am the president of the Harvard Graduate Students Union. HGSU UAW Local 5118. That 5118 comes because we won our union on May 1 of 2018.

And so that's how we got our local number. I am the current president now of the Harvard Graduate Students Union. But what I like to communicate to new workers is that my journey with our union began in 2017, when I was just getting sort of one lunch or one meal or one conversation, kind of like a month or a week with my coworkers.

In 2017, when we were talking about our working conditions and talking about our wages and talking about what could be better or what did we enjoy or not enjoy about our work, and then what will it take to change these conditions? And so I joined alongside my coworkers and especially I was an undergrad at the time and I was teaching in computer science and statistics classes. And so we organized other undergraduates to vote in that election to certify our union. It was a big win.

It was a really exciting win within the private sector of higher education for graduate students to be unionized. And we're proud to be part of this sort of movement into momentum of that. Immediately after winning our union, I then got to serve as the undergraduate member on our bargaining committee, thinking about how do we try to get things contractually guaranteed that will be respected for workers.

And it did a lot to help me understand that workers don't win by smart people in the room somewhere who care really passionately about our contracts. Our power in the bargaining room comes from our power outside of the bargaining room. So it's just about how we are organizing our coworkers.

And then I am back for a PhD. I am a G4 in Sociology and Social Policy here at Harvard and I've done a lot of rank and file organizing with our union. I've done a lot of organizing within my caucus in the UAW, Unite All Workers for Democracy, Uawd.

That was really involved in a lot of UAW politics to try and bring power down to the rank and file members, to really respect rank and file members as the source of our power and decision making within our union. And I'm thrilled to now be the president and being able to continue doing a lot of the same things that I have always been doing with our union, talking with our coworkers and understanding what are the challenges that we face and how are we going to fix them together. Really happy to be here today. 

Thank you so much.

Awesome. One thing I wanted to ask, I feel like over the past five to seven years we've seen a lot of growth in terms of organizing on campuses for graduate student unions. And it feels to me like often a part of a wider landscape where you're starting to see greater organizing amongst young precarious kinds of workers across different sectors.

And I'd be curious to hear your thoughts about how that momentum has been able to grow as you've seen that firsthand as an organizer or seen that from co organizers on other campuses or other places. And what you're doing to help continue that momentum, kind of moving forward and using that momentum to help increase the bargaining power. 

Yeah, absolutely. In addition to the Harvard Graduate Students Union we have seen so many different workers, students who are doing essential work for the functioning of our institutions, our universities and teaching labor and research labor, who are recognizing the ways that they are being exploited by our bosses. And people are really struggling under the status quo of higher education. People struggle with our wages to be able to live anywhere remotely close to their workplace and where they need to be teaching.

We encounter that a lot in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Workers everywhere are encountering that increasingly now compared to decades and decades ago. We have a lot more workers and graduate students who are not coming from generational wealth, who are the first person in their family to go to college or graduate school.

They're low income. And so we really depend on our graduate student stipends in a very serious way where this is not a pretend salary or something. This is actually how people are paying the bills.

And in addition to fighting and organizing our own workplace and organizing for our contract, we recognize that the entire status quo of higher education and education and work more generally need to change. So then how are we in coordination with other people doing similar types of work at other institutions right down the road at MIT, we've seen them win their election and then get a really good first contract after so much organizing and a credible strike threat. We've seen a lot of coordination and similar demands and similar strategies by workers at large institutions and small institutions and public sector institutions and private sector institutions.

And there's just been so much momentum. Like you're saying, Jonathan, amongst young people. And we also have a lot of young people who are saying, yeah, I love unions.

Why isn't my job unionized yet? So in addition to new graduate students unions, there are also workers who are being cut out of the current bargaining unit who are saying, I definitely am doing work. I am a worker. When my boss tells me what to do, I know that I am a worker in that moment.

And so people are trying to organize their own workplaces and expand our bargaining units. And we even have undergraduate workers and other graduate student workers who are working in the libraries and cafes and Dei offices with my employer at Harvard's campus who have an election on the 24th and 25 October coming right up, the Harvard Undergraduate Workers Union. So, yeah, there's just so much momentum, and we recognize a lot of our struggles as shared, and the power that we're able to build helps other workers in similar conditions no matter who their employer is.

I think it's also just reflects I just want to say also, it reflects not just the evan. I love your positive reasoning for it, but I think the other piece is just we take for granted baby boomers take for granted the world that they inherited from their parents, which is the ability to have an economic, mobile sort of future. But what we know from history is that that is rare in history.

That's actually a blip in the economic history. There's a great book about this called Money, which really goes dive deep into it and the conditions were set for that through high taxation of wealth and high earners and giving people economic opportunities to grow a vibrant middle class through those high taxations, right? The inability to sort of take off that money, put it into bank accounts offshore in other places. And as baby boomers sort of dismantled that regime that allowed that middle class to grow, we have seen the sort of the effects for millennials and for Gen Z is that we are, and to some extent Gen X, we are the least economic since the baby boom generation.

We have none of the economic opportunities. Everything from the fact that rent to owning a house is more of our income than it ever was at any point in baby boomer Gen Xers. So we have these high costs, right? The high cost of education, the high cost of things.

And at the same time, the ability for us to share in the benefits of our own work, of us to benefit economically from the work we're doing, is at its lowest point since the Gilded Age, since the creation of the progressive movements, right, since the 1930s. So we have both. In fact, I saw a report that we have more economic stratification than France did before the revolutions in France.  The pitchforks are coming.

And so I think it's not just the positive side, which are people see momentum. It's that I think that especially people listening, if you're feeling angsty about sort of where you are economically, you should. Our economic policies since Reagan have hollowed out the middle class in a way that is actually pretty impressive, how quickly they have undone everything that it took generations to try to build up and do.

And every person is hit with that there isn't an economic class, a racial class that isn't hit with that hollowing out. And so we are more precarious than at any one time. And unions are the way that built this system that allowed for baby boomers to have an opportunity for economic, for economic opportunity.

They'll work in the 1880s to the 1890s to the 1920s to the 1930s and ultimately culminating with FDR are all that's the progressive movement, and it's a vibrant labor movement. And so I think labor unions in that way are the anecdote to what we're seeing. 

Jonathan, I'm sure had a comment here. 

Took too long to unmute. I was going to chime in. Jordan your comments reminded me of one statistic that I always end up thinking about and I'm always so angry that I can never find the exact original study back in 2016 where I saw this. But it was somebody had done an analysis in 2016 looking at the composition of all of the different candidates running in the beginning of the year of their support base on different demographic metrics.

And the two things where they saw a very high correlation was between individuals who are, let's say, like higher on the education scale, but lower on the income scale being with Bernie Sanders and people who are high income, lower on the education scale being with Trump. So the latter being, let's say, like the contractor, the car dealer owner or other kind of, let's say, like small town petty bourgeoisie being a base for Trump support. And that the base of Sanders support. I often think about that statistic with a lot of the recent ways of organizing because you really do have that particularly overrepresented amongst a millennial population where you do have that gap between where a historical kind of connection between income and education levels where we do have an increasing numbers of number of fields where that they are high education fields but that they're much lower on the income scale which creates an opportunity to push for greater demands. 

Well, I'm going to take this conversation about the broader implications nationally of inequality and of what's been happening to our middle class. And I would love, Evan, if you can chime in and let us know a little bit of if you have any insider knowledge about the UAW's amazing strikes against the automakers. It's a very exciting time. I think since the teacher strikes and the Starbucks strikes and all these strikes, amazon strikes have been happening for the last few years.

And this one is really historic and I would love to hear your take on it. 

Yeah, absolutely. So we know that September 14 was when the Big Three contract expired. And right away at midnight, it was clear that workers were fed up and ready to fight for a strong contract that workers deserve. We have seen so much of the profit going to the top one percent. We have seen so much of the profit of within Ford, GM and Stellantis going to the CEOs and workers receiving a smaller and smaller share of the pie.

Can I just jump in? What I heard is that the CEOs got a 40% increase in pay and the workers have basically gotten nothing. And these are workers who actually gave things up during the downturn so that these companies would not go bankrupt. Is that accurate? 

That is accurate. And so workers gave up a lot in the Great Recession and yet now we are seeing that these companies are incredibly profitable. They're profitable enough for the CEOs to get a 40% raise. And so workers are trying to demand that similar raise.

And we right here in Massachusetts have Local 422 in Mansfield. These are Stellantis workers who are out on strike. We have many parts distribution facilities that are out on strike all around the United States.

And workers are really just insisting that the companies have to budge. I mean, we have seen the enormous rates of inflation right now and unfortunately the Big Three contracts do not currently include the cost of living adjustment. That Cola that everybody wants, that good Cola.

And we used to have the good Cola in the Big Three contract, but right now we don't and workers are needing that back. I was on the picket line in Mansfield and I was doing like an inflation calculator of what this worker was making when he was first hired two decades ago with his hourly wage and then what that would be now. And just the ways that a Cola is so essential for making sure that workers are not sliding back in their wage compared to the cost of living.

And it's just one of the exciting things about being part of the UAW. I am not an auto worker, but there are so many ways that our struggles as workers are really connected as members of the working class. 

Can you talk a little bit about you mentioned this before we started recording. Can you talk a little bit about climate justice and how it relates to this? 

Yeah. So we know that the entire world needs to change in order to address climate change. And we need to make sure that we are doing this in a way that is not as.

So many things have happened in the past. On the backs of low income people, on the backs of black and brown people all around the world and people in the Global South as well. I think a lot about Naomi Klein's work on the Shock Doctrine and how big businesses and capitalists will use any opportunity they can to race to the bottom in terms of workers'pay. In terms of workers' safety. Workers' benefits. And so we know that we need to, as part of addressing climate change, be producing more electric vehicles.

Now, are these new jobs in EV going to be strong, good union jobs where a worker can buy a home and send their kids to school if they want to? Or are they going to be a different type of job that is not able to support a family on a single income? And so we want to make sure that these jobs in the electric vehicle industry are fantastic jobs that people are clamoring for, that they're so excited for their factory to be producing electric vehicles for their part of the country, to be involved in the production needed to address climate change and fossil fuel emissions right now. 

Yeah, absolutely. I'm going to take a pause right here and just mention that we are powered by your small donations.

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So anything that you feel inclined to give. We are one of the few places that here in Massachusetts you can hear the voices of people talking about every progressive policy that matters to you. So it's incredibly important that we build the progressive movement here in Massachusetts and we know that you are a part of it and we are very excited to have you listening and we love our donors as well and we want you to be part of that team.

On that note, I'm going to pull us back to the conversation with Evan Mackay. And now we are going to go to our favorite topic: state politics in Massachusetts. So I would love for you to talk a little bit about your take as a UAW member talking about Massachusetts state policies and what things we need, what things you're fighting for.

Absolutely. So one of the things that really affects so many workers all around within the UAW, within the Harvard Graduate Students Union and many other workplaces is the cost of our rent here in Massachusetts. And so we have members who are spending 30, 40, 50, 60% of their take home pay just on rent.

And we even have to some extent sort of a company town model at Harvard where many people are getting a paycheck from their employer and then sending that paycheck directly back to their employer who is also their landlord. And we can have really wild circumstances where the cost of Harvard University housing is increasing more than the raises in our pay. But the cost of rent is just really difficult for our workers.

We are really trying to, in all of the ways possible, get rent control here in Massachusetts because we don't want to work really hard in our contract and then get a good raise just to have that raise eaten up by the increasing cost of our rent. So workers care a lot about the cost of rent. Workers care in housing more generally, workers care a lot about issues of climate justice, of racial justice, of economic and social justice.

We want to make sure that we are safe in the workplace. So in my line of work, like, one of the workplace safety issues is harassment and discrimination where there's a lot of power based inequality and really vulnerable circumstances to sexual harassment where we want to have safety in all of the different parts of work and what people are encountering. But in terms of state policy, one of the difficulties that we encounter is we as voters and we as people in Massachusetts are strongly in support of progressive revenue.

And we do things like we organize for the Fair Share Amendment and we recognize that working class people are paying a bigger percent of our money in terms of state and local taxes than the wealthiest people in the commonwealth. And so then the ways that we see our state legislature and state elected officials sort of beholden to special interests and the needs and whims of the 1% is really difficult for our members who are struggling to get by right now. 

And just to remind people, not only did Massachusetts, quote unquote democrats join with quote unquote Republicans, since we have basically a uni-party apparently in the state to undo all the work of the Fair Share amendment and the investments that we want to make in public education by giving tax cuts to dead billionaires.

They also gave tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires who are speculative traders in Wall Street, which is a huge tax cut for them. I think we all agree that rather than investing in public education or investing in our MBTA not being on fire or investing in making truly affordable housing, the thing that was crying out for Massachusetts voters was day traders on Wall Street, day traders making millionaires and billionaires to pay a lower tax rate. I think that's really –

What do we want? Lower taxes for day traders! When do we want it? Now!  Like, I saw those signs! [Laughter]

I was thinking about what somebody was saying earlier today, which is, oh, yeah, we got to be bipartisan here in Massachusetts. It's really important that we be bipartisan in Massachusetts. Like, well, how many of the voters are Democrats? Literally, it's like 85% of the House, state House and 90% of the state Senate are Democratic. So this whole, like, we have to be bipartisan and make sure that our bills are all, like, Republican friendly is, like, absurd. 

But I think all of those issues, from rent control to the fact that there isn't a real right to strike in Massachusetts, the inability for Democrats in Massachusetts who will constantly take labor money but won't allow their own workplaces to be unionized, are fighting unionization of their own workers. All of that stems from the fact that they functionally have no democracy in the State House.

None of these issues are discussed publicly. The tax cuts for billionaires and millionaires, that was not publicly discussed. They didn't have public hearings.

They didn't try to garner the understanding of Massachusetts residents about this humongous change in our tax code that went to people who literally, in some cases, aren't even alive to appreciate it. None of that was done in the public. And so directly for the UAW members, as I think we were talking about before, your issues are literally not sort of talked about in the public.

Yeah. I want to thank you, Jordan, for bringing up this difficulty that public sector workers have and the right to strike. I mean, the state and our state of Massachusetts very often weighs in against workers and on the side of business and on the side of the status quo, which is not working for working people.

And so they do this by not allowing eligibility for unemployment for people who are on strike. And they do this by establishing an inequality where private sector workers have more legal protections for collectively democratically coming together with your union to decide to withhold your labor. So this democratic decision has more legal protections in the private sector than it does in the public sector.

And again, we always hear Democrats talk about supporting workers, or they love it when they get those checks from unions. But then when it's time to show up and support workers to change the status quo of everything, we are going to need to have an organized working class and we're going to need to have militant working class organizing, including through strikes, including through new unions, including through really pushing the bar in every single way that we can. And this is one of the ways that Massachusetts, our state, holds us back, holds back public sector workers.

And like you were saying, I held up the sign. When the state House Democrats are the boss, they are the ones who can change the conditions to enable their own staff to have more legal protections to organize. There's nobody else they can point to as the reason for the hold up.

They could change this, but we haven't seen them do it. 

Oh, go ahead. 

Okay, super quick. It just reminds me of how was it last year? This year, I think it was last year when Senate President Karen Silka's office was like, we've reviewed it. It's not on sound legal terrain for us to recognize your union. So the response, the union organizing effort and allies was, okay, so pass legislation to create that legal framework.

And then the same legislators who said, well, we can't do this until you have a legal framework for us to do it suddenly are silent when people are offering the exact legislation to fix what they claim is a problem. 

Yeah. Just to be clear, the staff for the Massachusetts Senate have unionized, and they're not being recognized by their employer, which, if they were a public sector, would be illegal.

Evan, just really quickly, can you talk a little bit about the big deal that's sort of been exempted some of your, the grand bargain, and some of the public employees? 

Yeah, absolutely. So one of the reasons why I listen to this podcast is that I get to learn a lot about Massachusetts politics and the way that our state legislature and state government especially, is so broken and how it cuts out everyday people. I wish that everyday people were not only aware or, like, there was transparency, but that everyday people were in charge, were able to direct what are the things that our state is doing? And paid family and medical leave is an incredibly important policy for gender justice, for social justice.

It's so important for workers. And advocates had for years and years been organizing for paid family and medical leave in Massachusetts. And in 2018, we come to something called the Grand Bargain.

And the grand bargain did some good things, like it raised our minimum wage. 

Can I just backtrack for 1 second? The grand bargain basically there was a threat to put a bunch of things on the ballot. And the grand bargain was the legislators coming together and instead of allowing those things to get on the ballot because they were afraid that they might pass, coming up with watered down versions that they would then pass through the legislature. Right? So the grand bargain was like, good but not as good, But it's very hard to I think there's a lot of opinions about the grand bargain that like oh well, they did pass some things right and yet really why didn't they pass the things that were actually going to be on the ballot? That's the question. So just that's for a little bit of background about what the grand bargain was. 

They took away a lot of things in that grand bargain as well, like time and a half on Sundays and holidays and different things that affect workers in a very serious way. We lost and I don't know how we are going to be able to win those things back.

And the grand bargain I think is really illustrative of the ways that the state house works. Where was this a procedure where there were listening sessions all around the state where it's like what should we be doing? How are the people weighing in? How are the people telling their legislators what to do and what types of compromises to make? Or what types of compromises to not make because we are here in Massachusetts or even just working with the organizers who had put those ballot measures on. There was a whole coalition putting those ballot measures on the ballot.

Maybe work with those people. Absolutely. And so we end up with a form of paid family and medical leave.

But instead of that, what was it that happened? The grand bargain, which cut out many people and which was determined in closed doors outside of the view of the public, outside of the direction of a lot of the advocates and working people who had been pushing for this for so long. We end up with a form of paid family and medical leave which immediately needed so many different fixes because it didn't go through this sort of long deliberative process. There was not these grand series of hearings for public input and testimony on how this would affect various different types of workers.

And what's really difficult is in these closed door sessions they were not thinking about how this would affect all different types of workers. And so the paid family and medical leave cuts out graduate students, it cuts out public sector workers, which affects so many people all around the state and just shows the way that we need to have a state government that is driven by and transparent to people all around Massachusetts. I think at some point we could do a whole episode on the grand bargain and.

How it's illustrative of the sort of failure of our legislature. I'll just say really quickly, having been a part of that process, they gave advocates 12 hours to either take the deal or not. And the deal ultimately the reason they said they had to do it was that the Chamber and AIM were threatening to put on the ballot to sales taxes.

So hang on. Chamber of Commerce and the Allied Industrial Manufacturing? AIM. So I forget what it stands for, but the evil people who don't represent businesses, I was like to say they represent rich people and pretend to represent businesses.

Associated Industries, Massachusetts. Yeah. They don't represent small business owners.

They don't represent your mom and pop shop. They represent rich people and pretend to represent those people. But anyway, so I think ultimately the legislature could have said, like, go try it.

We'll pass taxes on you. We'll raise corporate taxes on firms making over a billion dollars in gross sales. Right? Like you could target taxes at rich corporations to say, look, if you try to undermine workers, we will tax you as a cost of that.

Instead, what they did was say, look, there's nothing we could do. We're not a legislative body that has oversight over these corporations. We're at the winds of these powerful people.

It can only do what they tell us. That's literally what they told us. It's bonkers.

No Republican states act this way. They don't bemoan activists. Listen, we have to do what these progressive activists want, they have people on their side. They don't care. They represent money.

And so at some point, you could have just stood up to them on behalf of workers. Instead, they stood up to workers on behalf of corporations and took away workers' rights and watered down access to these things. And I think it's illustrative of the problem.

I would love to do a whole episode on this. Jonathan, closing comments? 

No, I thought Jordan did a good background setting. It reminds me of a comment I'd made kind of before we were talking before this.

The annoyance when Democrats view themselves as, let's say, like the negotiator between labor and capital. Or even, let's say let's say labor capital. And just like a rentier class as opposed to actually being actually advocating for labor in a negotiation where we do have a democratic governing trifecta.

Now that that's how or even just to say the democratic legislative supermajority we've had for a long time. That is the role that they should see themselves as in terms of being champions of working people and for the issue to care around equity, around justice, around sustainability, around small, d democracy rather than trying to play a middleman and that ends up doing disproportionate biding of those with the most resources. 

Evan, we're going to close with you. Is there any way that people listening can be helpful to the UAW? Can people show up at the strikes in Massachusetts? 

What can listeners do, so to support the big three UAW workers? Right now, if you are in Massachusetts, we have workers in Mansfield who are out of Local 422 who are on a 24/7 full time picket line. So you can join them on that picket line. And there's also a hardship fund for these workers to be able to, like we were talking about, continue to pay rent for them and their families.

But you can join them in Mansfield, you can donate to the hardship fund. And then in terms of what can listeners do, I just want to emphasize that there is so much positive potential through organizing and talking with and building coalitions with people who you have durable relationships with. So, like, we need to be doing all different types of organizing from electoral politics and supporting great candidates and ballot questions and things.

But the types of durable relationships that are possible with tenant and housing organizing or with workplace organizing of your coworkers, it's just so amazingly special. And I have speaking for myself, I've just had this amazing experience of empowerment from organizing alongside my coworkers that has been so special, where we've been able to really advance social, racial, economic, environmental justice through our contract and through our union organizing. So if you are in a workplace that is not unionized, you can begin by having conversations with your coworkers and listening.

You have to do so much listening about how people are experiencing their workplace and what they wish could change or what would be different if they are already having conversations. And you can try and talk about, like, well, how are we going to change these things? What, is our boss just going to give us the raise that we want? Or how are we going to be able to win that raise? If you are already unionized, there's still a lot to do. You want to be able to be pushing for democracy and rank and file power within your union because we as rank and file workers, we as workers should be in charge of our unions as well.

So you want to make sure that you are transparent and that things are democratic and that it is workers who are driving the process. And so no matter where you are sort of on that continuum, there's a lot of really exciting, empowering work that is possible to do and there are a lot of different ways to plug in. Wonderful.

Thank you so much, Evan McKay, for all the work you're doing and for being on the podcast today. Thanks to my co hosts and thanks, of course, to everyone listening. We will see and chat with you all next week.