Organized labor, generally speaking, has had a tough time of it in our country over the last several decades; from coast to coast, for many reasons, professional unions have been minimized, marginalized, disrespected, demonized, etc. But has this also been the case for today's professional musicians? Our guest is Raymond Hair, Jr., the President of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (or AFM). This labor union, founded in 1896, is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.
If the stock market these days is surging higher and higher, and if corporations near and far are reporting record-setting profits, why is the American middle class struggling to get by with less and less pay for more and more work? And why, in the years since the Great Recession first hit, does every facet of business and industry seem to have bounced back except for the American work force?
"1913 Massacre" is the name of a song that Woody Guthrie wrote circa 1941; it recounts an early-20th-century tragedy that happened at the Italian Hall building in Calumet, Michigan, on Christmas Eve of 1913, when hundreds of miners, along with their families and friends, had gathered for a party. At that time, Calumet was at the heart of Michigan's then-lucrative copper-mining activity.