Union Made captures the blood, sweat, tears, as well as the courage, love, and solidarity that animates a union organizing drive. The new book by Eric Lotke, an attorney at the National Education Association, provides a window into the challenges faced by workers who are fighting for dignity and a more humane workplace. Lotke’s second work of fiction takes place in Richmond, Virginia, with a storyline anchored between two narratives: Catherine Campbell and the workers who are organizing Pac-Shoppe, and Nathan Hawley, an accountant working for a company planning a hostile takeover. Catherine’s story takes the reader inside the dynamics of organizing high stake meetings with Pac-Shoppe employees and strategic direct actions around the city as they band together to fight for higher wages, predictable work shifts, and dignity on the job. The other storyline opens a window into the cold calculation of finance capitalism, as we follow Nathan’s heroic journey away from a lonely accountant dealing with the banality of tracking spreadsheets and positive growth curves to a dialectic with Catherine that grows his class consciousness and creates a beautiful interplay as Nathan falls in love with both the movement and Catherine. Union Made is published by Tim Sheard’s Hardball Press. You can also watch an interview with Lotke here.
- reviewed by Evan Papp of Empathy Media lab. Read a labor-related book and want to review it for Union City? Email us at [email protected]!