[United Professionals] is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for white collar workers, regardless of profession or employment status. We reach out to all unemployed, underemployed and anxiously employed workers — people who bought the American dream that education and credentials could lead to a secure middle class life, but now find their lives disrupted by forces beyond their control.
from the United Professionals Website
I found out about the United Professionals, recently founded by Barbara Ehrenreich, among others, while looking around the “In These Times” website. Here is Adam Doster’s summary of the origin of the organization:
Enter Barbara Ehrenreich. While writing her recent expose, Bait and Switch: the (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, the veteran journalist and activist learned first-hand the pitfalls of keeping work in corporate America. â€œI met with career counselors, I read self-help books, I used the Internet and job boards,â€ Ehrenreich says. Realizing that many victims of job instability had nowhere to turn for help, Ehrenreich secured a $10,000 grant from the Service Employees International Union and collected e-mail addresses from unsatisfied workers on a subsequent book tour. In a matter of months, United Professionals (UP) was born.
UPâ€™s mission is simple: â€œto protect and preserve the American middle class, now under attack from so many directions.â€ Specifically, the group is organizing two related yet disparate types of workers: recent college graduates and middle-aged workforce veterans. â€œIt is important to align the two groups [of workers],â€ says Tamara Draut, a UP Advisory Board member and the author of Strapped: Why Americaâ€™s 20- and 30-Somethings Canâ€™t Get Ahead. â€œPitting the generations against each other like we often do isnâ€™t an effective way to organize, given that many things would benefit both groups.â€
Adam Doster, In These Times, December 14, 2006
Barbara Ehrenreich’s website is here, and she has a blog as well. Her last post is on the outrageous bonuses being given out by Goldman Sachs, “that average over $600,000 a head and run up to $100 million for some of the top guys, though itâ€™s a safe bet the cleaning crew wonâ€™t be seeing any of this largesse.” The rich get richer, etc.