The labor roots of Baltimore’s anguish
The Washington Post - 04/29/2015
Baltimore and its inner suburbs were once home to the vast manufacturing facilities operated by Bethlehem Steel, General Motors and Martin Marietta, notes Thomas J. Vicino, the author of “Transforming Race and Class in Suburbia: Decline in Metropolitan Baltimore.” In 1970, about a third of the labor force in Baltimore and its first-tier suburbs was employed in manufacturing. By 2000, only 7 percent of city residents had manufacturing jobs, and the losses have continued since. An awareness of this, Vicino says, should shape our understanding of what’s happening in the city now.
“We need to reframe the problem more broadly than racial profiling and police brutality,” Vicino, a professor at Northeastern University who grew up in Maryland, said in an interview. “These are major issues and have been for decades, and we need to deal with them. But the bigger context is the globalization of the economy, technological change and deindustrialization.