In 1971, a corporate lawyer named Lewis Powell drafted a memo to the Chamber of Commerce. This memo, known as the Powell Memo, or Powell Manifesto, set forth a blueprint for increasing political and social power of corporations. It has served as a playbook for the last several decades, as companies have followed its advice for inflitrating universities, utilizing their control of the media to shape public sentiment, and purchasing influence in politics.
With the shift in public sentiment over the last several decades, workers have become less important than the companies they serve and many companies are brazen in their regard for employees and the unions that bring them the power to advocate for their rights and for the needs of their families. As an example, despite monthly profits currently averaging $1.8 billion, Verizon seeks to separate its workers from their families and off-shore their work to Mexico and the Phillipines.
It’s important that we stand united with our brothers and sisters at Verizon in opposition to the offshoring of unionized jobs in the US, and to the very notions of “liquid labor” or profits that matter more than people. Even more important than what we stand in solildarity against is what we stand in solidarity for - and that is the lives of these workers and the families who want nothing more than to share dinner with them and be tucked in by them at the end of a long day. Their struggles could be any of ours.