Sunday, February 2, 2014

#TalkingUnion & Other #Union Songs

music to #mobilize4equity by…from Pete Seeger, the Almanac Singers & the Song Swappers…because it's time.

“Like hymns and patriotic songs, union songs are songs with a message."

Released in 1955, this record is an enduring collection of working man’s anthems that have been passed down through generations of laborers. Liner notes include an introduction by Pete Seeger and song explanations.

Smithsonian Folkways - Talking Union and Other Union Songs - Pete Seeger, the Almanac Singers and the Song SwappersMost of the songs in this collection are also on YouTube, along with a a number of Union Songs playlists -- none without Pete Seeger lyrics, sung by him and others.

It's been a week of Pete Seeger tributes on the local NPR stations. Not a single music program, classical excepted, has been without his songs, both tribute and natural segue into Black History Month. I already posted tribute threads on Facebook, on my personal timeline and at A new faculty majority. Tonight the local Sunday night folkways music program, Roots, featured theirs, with a focus on his union and civil rights songs. That and a pair of unrelated (except in the sense that we are all in this together) adjunct actions, one wrapping and the other coming up put me in mind to tie the three together in one post because, “like hymns and patriotic songs, union songs are songs with a message."

Both SEIU Local 200 United's NY Adjunct Action launch and Peter Brown's proposed National Mobilization for Equity are scheduled for separate posts. This is lagniappe—but like the songs, with a message. It's time...

For the launch, external organizer TL Mack-Piccone coordinated a media series in articles and on social media. The centerpiece, a series on adjunct academic labor, published online in Democracy Chronicles, opened with TL's "Taking on Hired Education: Labor's Latest Goliath," followed by articles from Ana M. Fores (@anamfores), Joseph Fruscione, Lee Kottner (@LeeKottner) and Lee Bessette (@readywriting), with Joseph Fruscione's and Lee Bessette's previously appearing in, respectively, Hybrid Pedagogy and Inside HigherEd.

Peter Brown briefly describes National Mobilization for Equity (#mobilize4equity) as "focus[ing] on organizing MayDay activities nationwide, either in support of the $5K Campaign or simply to highlight the plight of contingents and the need for change. Organizations such as NFM and unions such as UUP have formally endorsed the goals of the $5K Campaign, but other organizations may wish to focus on different goals. The important thing is to have a national day of highly visible, public action, which will help build a national movement and build on the momentum created by growing public awareness of the two-tiered staffing system." 

It's time...


  1. Great post bringing everything together!

    One comment, though, since you've mentioned where articles previously appeared. My article on Democracy Chronicles originally appeared in Counterpunch as Academic Action: Adjunct Justice, on January 21st:

    With @DemChron's publication, as with all the additional publications we are getting already this early year, we are well into starting 2014 as a real year for action.

    And you are a great part of this drive: thank you!

    In sol(idarity),

    Ana M. Fores Tamayo
    Adjunct Justice
    Facebook Page:

  2. I knew that -- really, how, short of living on the moon, could I have missed it? The "previously published" aside was about something else altogether and Lee B just a beard.


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