Contact: Caitlin Graf, The Nation, press [at] thenation.com, 212-209-5400

New York, N.Y., September 1, 2022The Nation, America’s leading source of progressive politics and culture, today launched “The Nation Explains,” a new video explainer series covering the most essential and pressing issues of the day—from a decidedly left perspective. Our inaugural episode, “How to Get to the Negotiations Table” (also available via YouTube), signals the magazine’s core commitment to lifting up the labor movement, worker’s rights, and union organizing—just in time for Labor Day. Organizer, negotiator, author, and scholar Jane McAlevey (@rsgexp), who has contributed to The Nation since 2010 and was named strikes correspondent in 2019, details how and why the hard part comes after you’ve won your vote to form a union.

“I’m delighted that, thanks to the work of multimedia editor Ludwig Hurtado, we can announce the debut of a new series of Nation explainers on video,” said Nation editor D.D. Guttenplan. “Besides letting us expand our editorial reach—and our political mission—into the growing section of our audience who get their media through these channels, this series also lets us highlight the wealth of talent and depth of knowledge among Nation writers and columnists.”

“I can’t think of a better person to kick off the proceedings than Jane McAlevey,” he continued. “I’ve been talking to and learning from Jane for years—and was a huge fan of her books Raising Expectations and Raising Hell and No Shortcuts back when I was a freelance writer, which was why I asked her to be our ‘strikes’ correspondent as soon as I took over as editor. More recently she’s been spreading the word about the importance of unions, and how to win power for workers at the negotiating table—through huge on-line teach-ins and classes attended by thousands of workers. So it is a treat, and a privilege, to be able to share some of her thinking with the Nation audience to mark this Labor Day.”

“Organizing workers is as hard as it is urgent,” added McAlevey. “There is no other way to rebalance the income and power inequality in the United States but for workers uniting together to challenge corporate greed and malfeasance and demand what every worker in this country, and world, deserves: dignity, respect and the right to a decent quality of life at work and at home. As The Nation’s strikes correspondent, I’ve covered labor fights for years and have seen firsthand the way a highly visible news story can boost workers as they struggle to build a better world, and unite the broader community against bad employers. The Nation’s coverage of the labor movement and workers’ struggles is critically important.”

“I’m excited to bring The Nation back into the video space with this series,” said multimedia editor Ludwig Hurtado. “I’m optimistic that explanatory journalism from our bold perspective will be of interest to not only the existing Nation audience but to a whole group of people online who would love our content but might not be regular readers of our work in print. This series is just the beginning of what I envision for us—not only in video but in multimedia at large.”

Fourth generation union, raised in an activist-union household, McAlevey spent the first half of her organizing life working in the community organizing and environmental justice movements and the second half in the union movement. In her new video explainer, she lays out why the union vote is just the beginning: A year after workers vote to unionize, more than half still don’t have a contract. That means lost earnings, poorer conditions, years of delays, and most importantly? Decertification. After a year without a contract, management can dissolve a hard-won union by pushing for a decertification vote.

Reaching a good contract matters—so how do we get there? Based on years of research and hundreds of case studies, McAlevey describes the three proven ways workers can win: transparency within the union; a large union bargaining committee; and a grassroots, bottom up approach that lets workers hear for themselves what management is proposing—which builds buy-in and increases accountability.

WATCH the full explainer here.

Forthcoming episodes of “The Nation Explains” will focus on a robust range of topics tied to our core coverage areas of politics, activism, and history. Viewers can expect bold explanations of current events, foreign policy, and legislative intricacies ranging from reproductive justice to housing policy to the state of the Supreme Court. Stay tuned!

McAlevey, Guttenplan, and Hurtado are available for select interviews. For further information, please see contact information above.

ABOUT: Jane McAlevey is The Nation’s strikes correspondent and the author of A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy. She is a senior policy fellow at the University of California’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

Her first book, Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell) (Verso) was named the “most valuable book of 2012” by The Nation. Her second book, No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age (Oxford University Press), was released late in 2016.

D.D. Guttenplan is editor of The Nation. His books include American Radical: The Life and Times of I.F. Stone, The Nation: A Biography and The Next Republic: The Rise of a New Radical Majority.

Ludwig Hurtado is The Nation’s multimedia editor. He is also a writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, NBC News, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere.

Founded by abolitionists in 1865, The Nation has chronicled the breadth and depth of political and cultural life, from the debut of the telegraph to the rise of Twitter, serving as a critical, independent, and progressive voice in American journalism.

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