New memoir ‘Working 9 to five’ appears on the historical past of ladies’s workplace employee organizing

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The Marc Steiner Show: 'Working 9 to 5' with Ellen Cassedy

In 1973 the group 9 to five was based as a nationwide affiliation of ladies workplace employees advocating for his or her rights. Organizing girls towards office discrimination and harassment, 9 to five introduced a brand new era of white collar girls employees into the labor motion, and stays one of many largest organizations of ladies employees in the US. Their experiences impressed the 1980 movie 9 to five, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton. Now, virtually half a century since 9 to five’s beginnings, founder Ellen Cassedy joins The Marc Steiner Present to debate her new memoir, Working 9 to five: A Girls’s Motion, a Labor Union, and the Iconic Film.

Ellen Cassedy was a founder and longtime chief of 9 to five, the nationwide affiliation of ladies workplace employees. Working 9 to 5 is her first-person account of this thrilling motion, which started within the early Seventies, mobilizing girls throughout the nation to arrange for rights and respect on the job. Ellen can be the award-winning writer of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust.

Put up-Manufacturing: Brent Tomchik


Transcript

Marc Steiner:  Welcome to The Marc Steiner Present right here on The Actual Information. I’m Marc Steiner, and it’s nice to have you ever all with this as soon as once more.

“Working 9 to five”, that was the well-known tune by the good Dolly Parton, created for a movie all of us love referred to as 9 to five, with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton. Now, that comedy took a severe have a look at the lives of clerical employees, girls employees. And it was all impressed by the actual 9 to five motion that organized girls throughout America in a multiracial union of workplace employees and clerical employees, who’re among the many lowest paid and oppressed and most quite a few. Who underwent sexual harassment, they have been unpaid, as I simply stated, working in servitude on the whim of the principally male bosses. That motion created a large change.

A kind of girls who constructed that motion is Ellen Cassedy, who wrote the ebook Working 9 to five: A Lady’s Motion, A Labor Union, and An Iconic Film. As I stated, Ellen was one of many founders of the 9to5 motion, and for a time she was even a speech author for the Clinton administration, wrote a play about her Aunt Jesse, a very long time secretary who wore her hair like Jane Fonda, shagged, in a nursing dwelling, and have become a movie referred to as Lovely Hills of Brooklyn. Wrote a ebook referred to as, We Are Right here: Recollections of Lithuanian Holocaust, and extra.

She joins us now right here on The Marc Steiner Present on The Actual Information. Ellen, welcome, nice to have you ever with us.

Ellen Cassedy:  Thanks a lot, Marc, glad to be right here.

Marc Steiner:  Let me simply begin simply speaking about you for only a second earlier than we get into the center of the ebook. As a result of your life as a union organizer, your life as an activist all via the ’60s and ’70s and past within the a long time that come, actually are within the coronary heart and soul, or in your genetic roots, are within you. One thing you grew up with, one thing you realized from childhood. Discuss a bit about that and the way you grew up.

Ellen Cassedy:  I suppose I can hint it again to my grandfather who was an immigrant from Japanese Europe. He arrived in the US in 1911 on the age of 19. He used to speak to me about standing in a public sq. in New York Metropolis, listening to this fiery garment employee named Rose Schneiderman who was speaking about bread and roses for ladies garment employees. I by no means forgot that. Later, after we started organizing within the early Seventies, we got here to really feel that we have been the heirs of these garment employees approach again then who fought for his or her rights and who actually not solely reworked their very own lives, but additionally reworked the labor motion.

As I used to be rising up, I used to be concerned, because of my dad and mom, within the Civil Rights Motion within the Baltimore area, and in addition within the anti-war motion into the ’60s. So by the point I received to the early Seventies, I used to be like a variety of girls at the moment who have been hitting the workforce out of financial necessity, but additionally have been bringing with them a need not only for a job, however for a great job, a job that paid pretty, that handled them pretty. One historian has talked about it as the approaching collectively of two rivers; an financial and a cultural. And ladies seemed round, and checked out one another, and seemed back and forth, and felt that we have been united as girls, and a discontent started to brew.

Marc Steiner:  And brew it did. Let’s get proper into the center of what it brewed for you and these different girls, as a result of I believe that many individuals even listening or watching this now aren’t conscious that the movie that we noticed that clip of, 9 to five, was a nationwide motion. Was a motion of ladies on this nation that organized girls who have been unorganized in ways in which have been by no means completed earlier than. I’d like to speak about that. Let’s simply speak in regards to the starting of that, the inspiration of that, and the ladies you labored with, and the way that started.

Ellen Cassedy:  Effectively, 10 of us began sitting round in a circle in Boston. We have been girls workplace employees, and we simply began speaking about our jobs. We talked about low pay, unequal pay, coaching males to be our personal supervisors, and being requested to do all types of favors for our bosses. From there we ended up beginning a publication and distributing it throughout city in Boston. We received authorities companies engaged on our facet, and we received hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in again pay and raises from banks, insurance coverage firms, and extra. We went on to develop nationwide, and we began a women-led union, and we impressed that film that you simply talked about, 9 to five, 1980 Hollywood hit and Dolly Parton’s toe tapping enduring anthem, which has simply been re-released in a duet with Kelly Clarkson simply final week.

Marc Steiner:  Actually? I’ve to verify that out, I haven’t heard that one.

Ellen Cassedy:  Yeah, they re-released it. And one of many messages is that we’re nonetheless working 9to5 and we’re nonetheless needing to arrange. I’ve been so thrilled to see the upsurge of labor organizing that’s happening immediately. It actually jogs my memory of individuals again once I received began, who, we hadn’t actually been concerned in demonstrations or the Girls’s Motion that a lot. The truth is, a variety of girls who we met, girls workplace employees would begin out once they sat down throughout a lunch desk with us, begin out by saying, I simply need to clarify I’m not a feminist. However then as they received concerned within the group they thought, I’m for equal pay, I’m for equal therapy, perhaps I’m a feminist. However we didn’t create that as a litmus take a look at, you didn’t need to name your self a feminist to become involved in 9to5.

Marc Steiner:  That’s fascinating. I’d wish to get into how completely different this was. I imply, as I used to be studying your ebook, once I was youthful, each once I was a faculty trainer and helped arrange the union of my highschool, after which earlier than that I used to be a warehouse employee and I received a Teamsters union at our warehouse and arranged that. However what you described in your ebook was very completely different by way of its strategy to organizing. A, as a result of the group of individuals you have been organizing didn’t essentially see themselves as employees, and B the way you moved away from the narrowness of a left ideology that may flip folks off whilst you have been making an attempt to arrange a broader coalition, the way you used humor, and extra. Discuss a bit about how this developed, as a result of it was actually a novel and highly effective strategy that I believe can also change the whole nature of the way you arrange employees.

Ellen Cassedy:  Yeah, properly that’s very insightful. I believe what impressed me as I used to be doing the analysis for this ebook was that 9to5, it actually was completely different. We actually adopted our personal noses. We seemed round for recommendation and we requested folks for recommendation and a few folks stated, oh, you’ll by no means succeed. We’ve tried that earlier than. It’s by no means going to work. Different folks simply welcomed us with open arms. However we actually needed to change the place we have been going ceaselessly, relying on what occurred with the folks we have been speaking to. We listened actually rigorously to how folks talked about their jobs. We went out to lunch with so many individuals, simply numerous girls. Generally I went to lunch 3 times a day and simply listened to how folks have been speaking and what they gave the impression to be able to do.

It was a state of affairs the place unions weren’t within the image at that time. Even any form of collective motion was actually overseas to the folks we have been speaking to. After they had an issue, folks tended to assume it was their very own particular person non-public downside. I ought to have dressed for fulfillment. I ought to take one other class. It’s my fault that I haven’t gotten that promotion. We actually needed to work on exhibiting those who, whereas a person could make a distinction, people working collectively could make an even bigger distinction. Now, the office was very authoritarian, in these big hovering skyscrapers. For those who stood up out of your seat on the typing pool, your supervisor might see and may come over and say, sit again down, you may get a black mark.

In leafleting, we needed to keep near the curb as a result of these skyscrapers have been located in the course of non-public plazas, typically with safety guards. So we’d be leafleting and skirting from individual to individual as they streamed within the doorways. Then as soon as they received contained in the door, leaflet in hand, a variety of occasions supervisors have been ready there for them and simply ripped the leaflets proper out of their hand. So we needed to provide you with all types of techniques that may be suited to what folks have been prepared to do. Folks weren’t even prepared to place a pile of leaflets within the lavatory, for instance. We thought that’d be fairly simple, however what in the event that they received caught?

So one factor we used to very nice impact was press protection. One factor was getting authorities companies on our facet to assist us. We didn’t simply file a cost after which go away. No, we stored the stress on them, stored their ft to the hearth. After which we used girls as whistleblowers. We invented all types of loopy methods for ladies to feed us details about what was happening within the government suites anonymously. We’d leaflet an organization after which folks would ship of their solutions. We’d digest these solutions after which feed it again to them with one other leaflet the subsequent day, and it drove the employers loopy. We actually had them on the run.

For instance, at one financial institution we leafleted at some point about pay on the financial institution. The subsequent day there was a 5% increase. We focused the largest financial institution in Boston, the First Nationwide Financial institution of Boston, and we referred to as 1979 “the yr of the primary”. By the tip of the yr of the primary, 51 girls had been promoted to administration, and there was a 12% increase, and there was job posting and profession ladders and a grievance system, and issues actually began to alter. We actually had them on the run. I keep in mind that after we focused an amazing huge insurance coverage firm, one of many executives determined that he’d higher sleep all night time in his workplace in case we invaded. I don’t know what good he thought that was going to do, however lots of people modified, and we made numerous bosses get their very own espresso.

Marc Steiner:  [laughs] How stunning. There’s a bunch of issues right here I believe that’s actually essential to know the harassment that individuals suffered, girls suffered in these jobs. It was simply superb, I’ve heard tales earlier than from these girls, however studying it in your ebook was completely different, simply the way in which it punctuated and arrange the way you organized and received girls to speak. And while you learn passages, many entries speaking about what girls stated to you concerned bodily fluids, non-public elements, private hygiene. The boss who requested his secretary to scrub a spot off his tie was trumped by the one who handed his secretary a heat container of his personal urine to hold to a lab. That one was eclipsed by the one who requested his secretary to hold his stool pattern to a physician’s workplace. A boss requested his secretary to scrub his dentures, one other to hoover up the fingernail clippings he scattered on the ground. One boss requested his secretary to wax his again hair, one other to snip his nostril hairs. The factor is, if this was a rarity, it might be a comedy, nevertheless it wasn’t.

Ellen Cassedy:  That’s proper. What you’re speaking about is these unhealthy boss contests that we held as –

Marc Steiner:  Which is nice, I like that.

Ellen Cassedy:  We might invite folks to ship in essentially the most outrageous factor they’d ever been requested to do on the job. Then, we’d take a posse of ladies to that successful boss, and whereas the TV cameras have been rolling, we’d current – For instance, there was one boss who had requested a secretary to stitch up a gap in his pants whereas he was carrying them, so we offered him with an government stitching equipment. We additionally confirmed up on the workplace of a lawyer who had fired his secretary for bringing him a corned beef sandwich on white bread as a substitute of rye. I’m sorry to say that that boss didn’t again down, that lady didn’t get her job again. She might need been glad, in the long run.

However from these issues showing on TV and within the press, a variety of bosses thought, hmm, and a variety of girls thought, perhaps I can say no. I bear in mind after the 9 to five film got here out in theaters in 1980, I used to be sitting on the bus and I heard this lady saying to the lady subsequent to her, so I stated to him, no, I can’t make your espresso. I simply noticed 9 to five, and I’m not going to make a cup of espresso once more, so we actually had an influence.

Marc Steiner:  Discuss in higher element about why it was so tough, in some methods, to arrange girls in these workplaces. Each by way of who you have been dealing with by way of the boss and the trade, but additionally the ladies themselves who didn’t see themselves as employees. And the way tough it was to make that group occur, and the techniques you used to alter that, to show it round. Which actually, in some methods, jogged my memory of what it took to be a group organizer and that form of strategy. Discuss a bit about that arc.

Ellen Cassedy:  Yeah, employers have been positively not happy after we confirmed up on the scene. It was as if any individual stated the wallpaper got here alive. In different phrases, employers have been used to only pondering of workplace employees as simply a part of the wallpaper. And workplace employees didn’t essentially consider themselves as, we’re simply as a lot employees as a person in a tough hat wielding a wrench, however we have been. Employers, particularly after we began our union, they pulled out each trick within the ebook, and so they employed union busting consultants and attorneys, and so they delayed, and so they threatened, and so they did all types of issues, a few of them authorized, a few of them unlawful. They received away with a variety of it. And so they made it very tough to arrange.

Within the Nineteen Eighties there was an actual downturn in union organizing. And now, as you already know, we’re seeing a resurgence of retail employees, restaurant employees, warehouse employees, even grad college students are organizing, and help for unions is larger than it’s been in two generations. Once you ask what was it about girls that made it arduous, we didn’t need to discuss that. We didn’t need to discuss what was incorrect with girls and why girls wouldn’t arrange. We talked about what they’re up towards, that their bosses actually have been prepared to fireplace them for getting collectively. And so they have been oppressed, and we have been doing all the things we might to have folks have a look at one another, really feel united as girls throughout race, throughout class, throughout age, and we did that.

Marc Steiner:  And you probably did do this. I imply, this was a sojourn. I believe if we will, within the time we have now collectively, speak a bit about how that sojourn occurred and grew out of your organizing on this one place and increasing it right into a nationwide union, that basically modified in some ways. I imply there are various who didn’t need to have something to do with you. We will speak a bit about that. However while you did get in, it was virtually change… You helped change the character – Folks don’t understand this – The character of unions, the character of what it means to arrange, to construct this group, the 925 native and what you probably did to construct that and the way that modified the character of union organizing as properly. So speak a bit about that. I imply, as a result of I believe that’s a very essential journey, when folks begin remoted and alone in a single locality, nevertheless it finally ends up being this nationwide motion of ladies preventing again.

Ellen Cassedy:  Yeah, we did develop nationally. We got here up with a formulation of the way you begin a corporation of ladies workplace employees in any metropolis. And wherever we went, there have been girls who had the very same issues and have been able to do the precise form of factor. We additionally began approaching unions, as a result of we acknowledged that it’s actually solely via a union contract that you’ve got it in writing it. The boss can’t return on it, they’re legally sure to hold out the contract. And ultimately we started operating into girls who have been able to unionize. And our union, which was referred to as District 925, like 9to5 –

Marc Steiner:  Find it irresistible.

Ellen Cassedy:  …On goal. The confusion was positively on goal. We organized a bit in another way from some unions. We held conferences at lunchtime, we supplied childcare for night conferences, and we additionally paid very, very particular consideration to every lady. And we understood from the within what it felt wish to be afraid to provide a speech. We inspired girls to take a wastebasket as much as the rostrum in the event you’re afraid you’re going to throw up whilst you’re talking in public. And we wrote scripts out for ladies to make telephone calls. And, once more, we understood ourselves what it was to be scared, and we had a really feel for that. So that basically had an influence. And our District 925 organized tens of 1000’s of individuals throughout the nation. And I additionally wish to say that, even in the event you didn’t be a part of the union or be a part of the group, lots of people have been affected by it.

And I believe points that had been thought of non-public particular person points turned issues of coverage for employers, for workers, for the general public, and for unions. So immediately, being pregnant discrimination is unlawful, sexual harassment is unlawful. We don’t have assist needed male and assist needed feminine adverts within the newspapers anymore. And managerial jobs have opened as much as college-educated girls. However in some ways, being a employee immediately is harder than it was 50 years in the past. Within the gig economic system it could actually take two or three jobs to place meals on the desk. There are fewer employees who’ve pensions, paid trip, paid sick days. Computerized monitoring, second by second surveillance of how briskly you’re working. That’s one thing that we didn’t have again then as a result of there weren’t computer systems.

However once more, as I stated earlier than, what’s so thrilling is that persons are coming collectively once more in unions. And a few of them are immediately working via the Nationwide Labor Relations Act and going office by office, and different employees are organizing citywide the way in which we did. The Battle for $15 is an efficient instance of a minimal wage battle. The form of factor we did, the place we’d simply go right into a metropolis and we’d begin simply elevating a ruckus throughout city, and alter received made.

Marc Steiner:  I do need to leap ahead for a second due to what you stated. And when you concentrate on the way in which you organized, you stated elevating a ruckus, since you did increase a ruckus. You probably did it with each technique and humor and mocking the opposite facet whilst you organized girls to face up and battle for themselves. And what do these classes say about what we face immediately? I imply, a part of your ebook you write about, in direction of the tip, in regards to the interval the place unions form of started to disintegrate, that they stopped organizing, that companies received the higher hand and began with the ability to push again. And ladies turned increasingly a part of the unionized workforce than males, and Black and Latino people turned increasingly a part of the workforce than white folks. So discuss the place you assume all which means for now.

We see this surge at Starbucks and different locations the place persons are organizing and standing up, which is basically essential. However discuss that within the context of what you probably did and the way that interprets to the twenty first century by way of what we face and the way you organized.

Ellen Cassedy:  Effectively even again then, beginning in round 1973 was simply after we began organizing. The social contract between employers and unions or employees was starting to fray. Employers have been dealing with globalization, and so they just about got here to a call. They have been completed with unions, they have been completed with the social contract. And so that you started to see this actually fierce resistance by employers.

And that continued on via the current day. It’s nonetheless occurring. The Starbucks employees, the Amazon employees are up towards these attorneys who’ve each trick within the ebook and each trick exterior the ebook. So I believe that the lesson that I draw is that each era has to provide you with its personal techniques. And so while you learn the historical past of 9to5, I believe it’s actually essential to study from historical past, however to know that you simply’re going to want to forge your individual path.

So it’s not a query of studying my ebook Working 9 To five and pondering of it as a guide. Oh, we’ll do this too. You received’t do this. It is a completely different time. You’re going to need to invent your individual techniques. However that’s the purpose, is that you simply simply hold going and belief your self, belief your instincts, and provide you with the form of techniques that make sense for immediately. As a result of there’s an previous union tune that claims each era has received to win it once more. And we would want that that weren’t true, however it’s true. So each era’s received to go for it by yourself.

Marc Steiner:  Proper. The wrestle by no means ends. I imply, I really feel that loads by way of once I was studying your ebook and I used to be fascinated about the place we stand now with voting rights and the push towards girls’s proper to decide on and all the remaining, and pushing again on unions, and the way the wrestle virtually looks like it’s… Not beginning over once more, nevertheless it’s like that we’re dealing with among the identical obstacles we confronted after we have been organizing, after we have been in our youthful years doing that. Speak about how you’ll speak to folks about how you wouldn’t let that be a frustration level, however to be some extent of optimism which you can battle and win.

Ellen Cassedy:  Yeah, properly I suppose if I needed to convey something in my ebook, it was what a ball we had. [Marc laughs] We have been in our tiny little workplace from daybreak to after nightfall, and we have been a feisty crew. We have been 23 years previous, however we have been within the newspaper on a regular basis. We have been simply gleefully dreaming up all these nice issues to do, and we simply stored transferring ahead. And I believe that’s what folks need to do. And I see folks doing that immediately, and that’s what’s so thrilling to me.

Marc Steiner:  So I need to form of digress a second into a part of the ebook the place you speak in regards to the function of the movie 9 to five, in assembly Jane Fonda, getting this story out that approach, which was actually superb to me. I imply, I bear in mind the film when it got here out and the way all of us cherished it and it impressed so many individuals. As a result of it got here out simply once I was within the midst of organizing at my highschool the place I used to be working. So it was inspirational in that sense for many individuals to look at it. So speak a bit about that in that course of, the film, and what do you assume the film did, and the way essential that was?

Ellen Cassedy:  Jane Fonda knew a member of our group from the anti-Vietnam conflict motion and he or she got here to us and stated that she needed to make a film in regards to the considerations of ladies workplace employees. We have been thrilled. She introduced a crew to fulfill with the leaders. And so they popped a query that we had by no means thought to ask on our recruitment lunches, which was, have you ever ever considered doing in your boss? And there was a second of surprised silence after which the room simply exploded, as a result of it turned out everyone had. So one lady talked about fantasizing about grinding up her boss in a espresso grinder. And one other lady talked about eager to swivel her boss round in his swivel chair and swivel him proper out the window. And people fantasies all went into the script. And the movie was an enormous hit. The environment within the theaters was electrical.

Even males just like the film, as a result of it turned out a few of them had fantasized about doing of their bosses, too. And there’s well-known scene within the film – You need to actually watch the film once more immediately as a result of it actually stands up – So there’s this one scene the place Jane Fonda is new on the job, and so they usher her into this room with an enormous photocopier that’s in regards to the measurement of a room, and he or she very timidly presses the beginning button, and all these papers begin flying out in her face, and he or she’s scrambling to select them up and he or she’s beginning to cry. And ladies would rise up within the theater and say, push the cease button. So folks took it actually severely and felt that they have been being mirrored on the large display screen in a approach they by no means had earlier than. And that basically modified issues.

Jane Fonda was a tremendous accomplice to have. She actually understood how a film might be impressed by a motion after which propel a motion ahead. And we labored actually intently along with her. And I believe the controversy, the general public debate about whether or not there may be discrimination, whether or not girls are glad with the decrease jobs and the decrease pay, that debate actually modified. It made an enormous distinction.

Marc Steiner:  For some motive, as you have been describing this, I used to be fascinated about elements of your ebook that I believe are actually essential to drag out right here, which is the difficulty of race. The difficulty of race and organizing and the difficulty of race, particularly in how efficient organizing within the office can start to handle racism, change minds and attitudes, particularly amongst white girls on this case, however white employees, white girls, and the way that performed out in your world. As a result of while you began out, you have been principally white girls who began this factor out, nevertheless it morphed and altered because it grew. And speak a bit about how that basically challenges the notion of racism, how essential that’s by way of that wrestle.

Ellen Cassedy:  Completely. So we began organizing in 1973 in Boston. And Boston at the moment was an virtually totally white metropolis, and had a very virtually totally white clerical workforce. And so we might have simply stopped there and thought, okay, properly I suppose we’re going to have a white group, however we didn’t. And one of many causes we expanded nationally was we needed to ensure to construct a multiracial group. And so we focused cities like Milwaukee, Baltimore, Cleveland, Atlanta, that had giant numbers of ladies of shade within the clerical workforce, as Boston didn’t. And as we went alongside, we have been very acutely aware about ensuring that our workers, our management, and our membership all mirrored the demographics of the workforce. And that meant we had a multiracial group. It didn’t simply occur, and it required arduous work, and I’m actually pleased with what all of us did collectively.

And we actually linked arms and went ahead along with our eye on the prize, concentrating on the boss. And I believe lots of people’s minds have been modified within the group. That they had experiences with folks of various backgrounds that they wouldn’t have had in any other case. After we organized unions, had union drives, after all you possibly can’t win a union drive in the event you solely are organizing in a single division or one race. So we needed to have multiracial organizing committees, and we paired a girl of shade and a white lady in going into workplaces. So we didn’t simply have the white organizers organizing the white folks and the ladies of shade organizing employees of shade. We used our organizing to interrupt down limitations and to construct our multiracial group.

Marc Steiner:  I imply that, to me, given what we face in immediately’s world, can be a crucial lesson to know. I imply, as a result of in the event you consider racism as… For those who have a look at racism as an underpinning of the society that’s woven into the DNA that destroys our society, and the way the function of organizing and unions can really change that, to me anyway, in my historical past, greater than another sit down periods speaking about race can. One thing in regards to the work collectively and the wrestle collectively, how that adjustments issues. And the conversations which are ensued due to that wrestle really change concepts and emotions and attitudes.

Ellen Cassedy:  Yeah, I imply we actually, as you stated, we began with motion reasonably than with dialogue. And I believe that basically labored to our benefit. So I actually agree with that and that strategy. Plenty of our work needed to do with the federal affirmative motion laws. And once I was doing my analysis for this ebook, I used to be simply amazed to learn this historical past. Affirmative motion, which was handed in 1965, it was an government order put out by President Johnson. It stated that any firm getting a specific amount of federal funding needed to set objectives and timetables for hiring underrepresented teams into each a part of the workforce. So firms have been required to say, okay, we’ve received X variety of girls in this type of job. We’ve received X variety of folks of shade in this type of job, and our aim over the subsequent three years is to extend these numbers. It appears virtually inconceivable now to think about that that was true, nevertheless it was. And naturally it wasn’t occurring, don’t get me incorrect.

However after we confirmed up and waved these laws within the faces of presidency enforcers and corporations, issues started to alter. And I can’t let you know what an unimaginable thrill it was to work facet by facet with folks of various ages, completely different lessons, completely different races to make these adjustments and to really win these victories.

Marc Steiner:  So speak a bit about, earlier than we shut up, the way you expanded nationally. As a result of that’s a very fascinating a part of the story. I imply, I do know that while you started organizing in Boston, this was not… You weren’t fascinated about learn how to arrange an precise union. Possibly a few of you have been, nevertheless it wasn’t there. However how that occurred, how that morphed over these 10 years of organizing and dealing in all these completely different industries from finance to publishing to all of the industries the place girls have been working in these workplaces, how that morphed into this nationwide group.

Ellen Cassedy:  Effectively, a part of it was simply combining with different efforts that have been on the market. We have been in Boston, however then instantly folks began getting in contact with us from all around the nation. And there was a bunch in San Francisco, and there was a bunch in New York. After which we shaped a bunch in Cleveland, and we shaped a bunch in Dayton, Ohio. After which, as I stated, we focused Baltimore and Atlanta and Milwaukee. And so it was placing collectively efforts that have been effervescent up all around the nation and uniting in a single group. To some extent, we made it occur in and in different respects we simply put collectively what was already there.

Marc Steiner:  Effectively, I assumed that was a tremendous a part of the story for me to look at how that grew and the way the ladies you started with, you really unfold out throughout the nation and began doing work elsewhere.

Ellen Cassedy:  That’s proper, among the authentic organizers left Boston and went to Seattle and Hartford and different locations to start out new 9to5 organizations throughout.

Marc Steiner:  So final couple issues right here, one has to do with the opposite story on this story. As a result of this can be a story of organizing and constructing a nationwide girls’s motion, a labor motion. It’s additionally a love story. It’s the story of you and Jeff Bloom. The best way you portrayed it and weaved it into the context of the story, but additionally how trustworthy you have been about your relationship and the way it grew, inform a bit about this. As a author, I’m eager about the way you, as a author, how you probably did that and why you made that weave between the political organizing and this love you’ve had your total life.

Ellen Cassedy:  Effectively, my aim in writing Working 9 to five was to create an intimate perch from which to discover a wider world. And that’s my favourite form of ebook, my favourite form of memoir. And once I was 23, it wasn’t the case that I assumed, oh, how do I type a nationwide motion? No, it was, how do I develop up? How do I develop into… How is it doable to be a girlfriend and an organizer on the identical time? And the reply to these, that query was not apparent to me. And so among the identical struggles I used to be going via at work in 9to5 and earlier than I even was a workers member of 9to5 once I was an workplace employee, have been mirrored in my private life, additionally, with my boyfriend, Jeff.

So how do you say your self? How do you ask for what you need? How do you make calls for? What’s approaching too robust and what’s being too timid? And I believe that’s the case for thus many individuals, that we ask folks to affix a motion, however for each individual it’s so private, it feels very private. And so the difficulty of how do you ask for what you need at work with out getting fired isn’t all that completely different from how do you say your self and make your wants often known as a girlfriend with out blowing up the entire relationship. And I needed to make that connection within the ebook.

Marc Steiner:  And you probably did it very properly. I used to be so actual. I simply cherished that a part of the ebook as properly. And in addition, I have to admit to everyone who’s watching or listening that I additionally went to highschool along with your husband, in order that….

Ellen Cassedy:  You know the way arduous it may be. Proper?

Marc Steiner:  So I need to conclude right here along with your ideas about how the ebook you wrote and the way your lifetime of organizing with girls who’re on the forefront of the wrestle of change – And there’s no accident, whether or not it was within the Civil Rights motion or whether or not it was within the abolition motion, with most of the union actions, girls have been on the forefront of those struggles. Girls throughout racial traces have been on the forefront of the struggles. And while you have a look at what’s occurring now, how do you preserve your optimism about what you see and what’s rising, in the event you do, and the place you assume this takes us? I imply, since you wrote within the ebook on the finish about what we face, the place we stand, the place unions are. So speak a bit about that within the context of your notion of what’s going to occur to us now and the place our future takes place, what our future might maintain.

Ellen Cassedy:  Effectively, that’s the query, isn’t it? And I believe penning this ebook actually gave me… I went via an entire journey and an entire training. Our hopes originally of this course of in 1973 have been simply large. We thought we have been going to arrange girls by the tens of hundreds of thousands. We thought we have been going to remodel the labor motion. We thought we have been going to resolve all our issues. And that didn’t occur. Our hopes and goals have been approach past what we achieved, and we didn’t win all of it. However I got here to know that on this line of labor, you by no means do. You’re at all times reaching for the horizon and past, and also you’re by no means glad. And while you do win one thing, it simply whets your urge for food for extra.

So the truth that there’s a lot extra to do isn’t news. And we weren’t distinctive in what we have been capable of do. We have been only one instance of a very thrilling, transformative effort. And there have been extra and there will probably be extra. So it at all times goes that approach. And as I stated earlier than, each era’s received to win it once more. And so I actually urge folks to review our historical past, study from our historical past, however anticipate to forge your individual path.

Marc Steiner:  And that’s what we have now to do. That is an unimaginable ebook, and very well written. I imply, you’re a author, and also you’re a tremendous author, and I actually respect the way you wrote this ebook. It simply brings you in. And I’d advocate this ebook: Working 9 to five: A Girls’s Motion, a Labor Union, and the Iconic Film, simply a tremendous piece of labor. And I need to thank Ellen Cassedy for taking her time immediately with this right here. On The Marc Steiner Present for The Actual Information. Been a pleasure to speak with you and sit up for many extra conversations.

Ellen Cassedy:  Thanks a lot, Marc.

Marc Steiner:  It was nice. It was actually nice.

And I hope you all loved it as properly. And please write to me at mss@therealnews.com. Let me know what you thought and I’ll get proper again to you, as I at all times do. Additionally, whilst you’re there, keep there and go to therealnews.com and make a donation to The Actual Information to maintain this place floating and going. We want you on the market to assist with that. And I need to thank the parents right here at Actual Information for making this present doable and making it work. And once more, Ellen, thanks a lot for being with us.

Ellen Cassedy:  Thanks.

Marc Steiner:  It’s been a pleasure to have you ever with us.

New memoir ‘Working 9 to five’ appears on the historical past of ladies’s workplace employee organizing

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