Shaun Richman has been a US labour organiser for much of his working life. He is currently the Director of the School of Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College. Tell the Bosses We’re Coming draws on Richman’s decades of experience as a union organiser. The purpose of his book is to answer the question: why, in an era of rampant inequality, increasing protests over questions of social justice, and strikes, does union density continue to decline? After all, the polls show that the vast majority of ordinary Americans believe in the value of trade unions.
Richman is unquestionably on the side of labour against capital. Two considerations prompted him to write the book. Firstly, American labour is caught in the trap of unjust labour laws, state laws and legal precedents that force unions to spend their reserves of energy and cash in a draining, and inevitably unsuccessful, battle to escape legal restrictions. Secondly, the labour unions continue to do what they have always done – rely on the received wisdom of labour leaders past – and watch the crisis of American labour deepen.