When people think of unions, the image of a white construction worker is still one of the first to come to mind for many people, but it’s not what labor looks like anymore. Tom Perez, the new secretary of Labor, is more representative of the current makeup of unions in the United States. The ranks of major service sector unions are filled with Latino and African-American and immigrants, a far cry from the days when men in hardhats clashed with anti-war protesters on the streets of New York City. As fast-food and other low-wage workers around the country agitate for better wages and the right to unionize, a new chapter in the labor movement is beginning.
Steve Kornacki explains why unions were so important to Richard Nixon and how the changing makeup of the labor movement will influence politics.