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Session 3: Saturday June 29th, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
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Kim Moody's Rank-and-File Strategy (RFS) has received new attention in the pages of Jacobin in the last year, which reprinted both his original piece and his 2014 reassessment. This was followed by articles from Barry Eidlin and Max Elbaum, while the RFS is also being discussed within the DSA. Here, the three panelists will examine what is missing from Moody's bottom-up organizing model, those of his Jacobin respondents, and the DSA debate. Marc Kagan will speak on the importance of fighting for workplace control, a crucial feature of previous rounds of working class unrest, which has largely disappeared from discussions about mobilizing workers. After this deeper dive onto the shop floor, the next two speakers argue for a more expansive strategy. Lynne Turner will consider how to conjoin RFS with the "bargaining for the common good" approach utilized in recent teacher strikes, to build more power and encourage workers to think beyond the workplace and toward social transformation. Luke Elliott-Negri will argue that the rank and file approach to union politics is much more a tactic of socialist strategy than it is socialist strategy itself, and needs to be combined with electoral work.


Marc Kagan is a graduate-student worker in the CUNY Graduate Center History Department and teaches at Lehman College.

Luke Elliott-Negri is a Ph.D. candidate in the CUNY Graduate Center Sociology Department, and Chapter Chair of the CUNY Graduate Center chapter of the Professional Staff Congress, AFT.

Lynne Turner is a Ph.D. candidate in the CUNY Graduate Center Sociology Department. She teaches at CUNY at LaGuardia Community College and the School of Labor and Urban Studies. Previously, she was a long-term union organizer, educator and campaigner.