Q2 2020

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22 C I N E M O N T A G E L A B O R V I E W S Playing Our Cards Right By Kim Kelly S everal months out from when it first made its grand appearance on the world stage, the corona- virus pandemic has laid bare a great number of the structural defects built into the American way of life. From the country's woefully wretched healthcare system to the political elite's callous lack of care for the poor and homeless, the way the U.S. does business has nev- er allowed much breathing space for the workers who actually keep things running. As wave after wave of layoffs hit the workforce and unemployment numbers soar to hitherto unimaginable heights, it's also become readily appar- ent that no one else is looking out for the working person in this country. All we have is each other and the collective efforts that spring up when we pool our resources—and resourcefulness. This is a critical moment for labor, and workers have made their feelings about it known with an escalating series of strikes, sickouts, petitions, and protests held in concert with countless new organiz- ing campaigns. However, thanks to the current state of the U.S. government a n d i t s l a b o r l a w s , m a n y o f t h o s e campaigns will face an uphill battle for recognition because of unnecessary added steps intended to stymie worker power. During such uncertain t i m e s a s t h e s e , s t r o n g unions are a worker's best friend, and it is absolutely imperative to the future of the movement—and that of the working class as a whole—that the right to organize and to join unions remains intact. Card check offers one of the greatest and most straightforward to o l s wo r ke rs h ave w h e n fo r m i n g a u n i o n , a n d ye t t h e p ra c t i ce — w h i c h relies on a simple majority of signed union cards to achieve recognition—is constantly under threat, even from those who claim to venerate the house of labor. Those who oppose card check invariably cry that abolishing the secret ballot gives unions "too much power," which is a sure sign that it doesn't actually go far enough. The realities of the current crisis IN A DIVISIVE CAMPAIGN YEAR, ONE LABOR ISSUE STANDS OUT

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