Q4 2020

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By Rob Callahan T his year arrives laden with anx- ious hopes. We hope to endure and to put behind us a prolonged season of dark days defined by disas- ters. We hope to move beyond a year misshapen by a terrible plague — one that has disrupted our lives and thrown into the sharpest relief the shame of our inequities, leaving unnecessary death, sickness, and immiseration in its wake. And we hope to move beyond four years shaped by a regime that has cultivated and been buoyed by the most corrosive and contemptible forces in our politics. To be clear, the hopes this new year bears are anxious, attenuated hopes. The red-letter date isn't New Year's, with its festivities celebrating a fresh start, nor Martin Luther King Day, with its conviction that moral courage and mass movement shall bend the universe's arc. It's not even Inauguration Day, with its long-anticipated installation of new lead- ership and all that that change augurs. The most apt metaphor the calendar offers up for this moment is Groundhog Day: a time to tentatively peek out of the burrows in which we've hunkered overlong, to stretch haunches cramped from defensive crouching, and to survey eagerly for harbingers that this extended winter might someday yield to thaw. In considering what this moment means for the labor movement, though, we oughtn't gloss over Inauguration Day entirely. We now have in office one who pledged to be "the most pro-union presi- dent you've ever seen." That vow was not merely an isolated throw-away amongst a slew of campaign pitches. President Biden has repeatedly described himself as "a union guy," and, after his election, flatly asserted "unions are going to have increased power" under his administra- tion. How might his presidency measure up to such commitments? As encouraging as it is to have in office an executive who unembarrassedly embraced the cause of organized labor, we must recognize that the measure of 8 C I N E M O N T A G E G E T T I N G O R G A N I Z E D Labor's New Day CAN BIDEN REPAIR TRUMP'S DAMAGE TO WORKERS? Biden: "The most pro-union President you've ever seen." P H O T O : A S S O C I A T E D P R E S S

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