They re Bankrupting Us

 They re Bankrupting Us  Author Bill Fletcher, Jr.
ISBN-10 9780807003336
Release 2012-08-28
Pages 224
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From Wisconsin to Washington, DC, the claims are made: unions are responsible for budget deficits, and their members are overpaid and enjoy cushy benefits. The only way to save the American economy, pundits claim, is to weaken the labor movement, strip workers of collective bargaining rights, and champion private industry. In "They're Bankrupting Us!": And 20 Other Myths about Unions, labor leader Bill Fletcher Jr. makes sense of this debate as he unpacks the twenty-one myths most often cited by anti-union propagandists. Drawing on his experiences as a longtime labor activist and organizer, Fletcher traces the historical roots of these myths and provides an honest assessment of the missteps of the labor movement. He reveals many of labor's significant contributions, such as establishing the forty-hour work week and minimum wage, guaranteeing safe workplaces, and fighting for equity within the workforce. This timely, accessible, "warts and all" book argues, ultimately, that unions are necessary for democracy and ensure economic and social justice for all people.



Why Unions Matter

Why Unions Matter Author Michael Yates
ISBN-10 9781583671900
Release 2009-05-01
Pages 240
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In this new edition of Why Unions Matter, Michael D. Yates shows why unions still matter. Unions mean better pay, benefits, and working conditions for their members; they force employers to treat employees with dignity and respect; and at their best, they provide a way for workers to make society both more democratic and egalitarian. Yates uses simple language, clear data, and engaging examples to show why workers need unions, how unions are formed, how they operate, how collective bargaining works, the role of unions in politics, and what unions have done to bring workers together across the divides of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. The new edition not onlyupdates the first, but also examines the record of the New Voice slate that took control of the AFL-CIO in 1995, the continuing decline in union membership and density, the Change to Win split in 2005, the growing importance of immigrant workers, the rise of worker centers, the impacts of and labor responses to globalization, and the need for labor to have an independent political voice. This is simply the best introduction to unions on the market.



Sweat and Blood

Sweat and Blood Author Gloria Skurzynski
ISBN-10 9780822575948
Release 2008
Pages 112
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Traces the history of labor unions in the United States, including the first labor strike in Jamestown, the impact of the Great Depression on labor unions, and the challenges unions face today.



Raising Expectations and Raising Hell

Raising Expectations  and Raising Hell Author Jane McAlevey
ISBN-10 9781844679225
Release 2012-11-20
Pages 332
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In 1995, in the first contested election in the history ofthe AFL-CIO, John Sweeney won the presidency of the nation’s largest laborfederation, promising renewal and resurgence. Today, less than 7 percent ofAmerican private-sector workers belong to a union, the lowest percentage sincethe beginning of the twentieth century, and public employee collectivebargaining has been dealt devastating blows in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Whathappened? Jane McAlevey is famous—and notorious—in the American labormovement as the hard-charging organizer who racked up a string of victories ata time when union leaders said winning wasn’t possible. Then she was bouncedfrom the movement, a victim of the high-level internecine warfare that has tornapart organized labor. In this engrossing and funny narrative—that reflects thepersonality of its charismatic, wisecracking author—McAlevey tells the story ofa number of dramatic organizing and contract victories, and the unconventionalstrategies that helped achieve them. Raising Expectations (And Raising Hell)argues that labor can be revived, but only if the movement acknowledges itsmistakes and fully commits to deep organizing, participatory education, militancy,and an approach to workers and their communities that more resembles the campaignsof the 1930s—in short, social movement unionism that involves raising workers’expectations (while raising hell).



Solidarity Divided

Solidarity Divided Author Bill Fletcher
ISBN-10 9780520255258
Release 2008-06-23
Pages 304
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“Anyone concerned with the struggles of America's working people is going to be fascinated by this rare, insiders' look at the external forces and internal fumblings that have so drastically weakened the labor movement. Both in its sweeping analysis and priceless reportage, Solidarity Divided is a deeply illuminating book and a solid argument for why our unions need to reclaim their historic heritage as a militant, grassroots movement.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed "Bill Fletcher and Fernando Gapasin have put together a hard-hitting analysis of the crisis facing organized labor. But this is not just something for people involved in unions. If we are to build a movement for social justice then we must confront the issues that they are raising."—Danny Glover "This is an extraordinarily important and provocative reflection on the limitations of self-reform and reinvention within the American labor movement. The authors provide readers with a unique first-hand view of internal debates, personalities, and decision-making processes but also use their intimate knowledge of union culture and carefully narrated case studies to transcend mere stone-throwing. This book is unlikely to be matched by any other journalistic account or memoir.... A landmark in all debates about 'what next' for labor."—Mike Davis, author of Prisoners of the American Dream "There are few writers and activists whom I would rather read on the recent past, the present and the future of the labor movement than Fernando Gapasin and William Fletcher. This is an especially accessible and balanced exploration of recent efforts at community unionism, international solidarity, coalition with nonunion workers and empowerment of immigrants. Above all this is far and away the best argument for the importance of central labor unions that I have read."—David R. Roediger, author of Working Toward Whiteness “This is a very valuable work, well-written and useful to union activists and students of working-class life and history alike. Fletcher and Gapasin have performed a public service of high quality by bringing into the national conversation an enlightened focus on labor and its relation to other sectors of the population, seeking to reinvigorate and enlarge our democracy. This book is 'a star to steer by' as we move through troubled waters in a dark time, confident that in our substantive unity of purpose, we can and shall overcome.”—Jack O'Dell, former associate editor, Freedomways magazine



What Unions No Longer Do

What Unions No Longer Do Author Jake Rosenfeld
ISBN-10 9780674726215
Release 2014-02-10
Pages 288
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From workers' wages to presidential elections, labor unions once exerted tremendous clout in American life. In the immediate post-World War II era, one in three workers belonged to a union. The fraction now is close to one in five, and just one in ten in the private sector. The only thing big about Big Labor today is the scope of its problems. While many studies have explained the causes of this decline, What Unions No Longer Do shows the broad repercussions of labor's collapse for the American economy and polity. Organized labor was not just a minor player during the middle decades of the twentieth century, Jake Rosenfeld asserts. For generations it was the core institution fighting for economic and political equality in the United States. Unions leveraged their bargaining power to deliver benefits to workers while shaping cultural understandings of fairness in the workplace. What Unions No Longer Do details the consequences of labor's decline, including poorer working conditions, less economic assimilation for immigrants, and wage stagnation among African-Americans. In short, unions are no longer instrumental in combating inequality in our economy and our politics, resulting in a sharp decline in the prospects of American workers and their families.



The Right and Labor in America

The Right and Labor in America Author Nelson Lichtenstein
ISBN-10 9780812207910
Release 2016-03-24
Pages 440
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The legislative attack on public sector unionism that gave rise to the uproar in Wisconsin and other union strongholds in 2011 was not just a reaction to the contemporary economic difficulties faced by the government. Rather, it was the result of a longstanding political and ideological hostility to the very idea of trade unionism put forward by a conservative movement whose roots go as far back as the Haymarket Riot of 1886. The controversy in Madison and other state capitals reveals that labor's status and power has always been at the core of American conservatism, today as well as a century ago. The Right and Labor in America explores the multifaceted history and range of conservative hostility toward unionism, opening the door to a fascinating set of individuals, movements, and institutions that help explain why, in much of the popular imagination, union leaders are always "bosses" and trade union organizers are nothing short of "thugs." The contributors to this volume explore conservative thought about unions, in particular the ideological impulses, rhetorical strategies, and political efforts that conservatives have deployed to challenge unions as a force in U.S. economic and political life over the century. Among the many contemporary books on American parties, personalities, and elections that try to explain why political disputes are so divisive, this collection of original and innovative essays is essential reading.



There Is Power in a Union

There Is Power in a Union Author Philip Dray
ISBN-10 9780307389763
Release 2011
Pages 772
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The Pulitzer Prize finalist author of At the Hands of Persons Unknown presents a narrative chronicle of American organized labor from the origins of the industrial age to the present, documenting the rise and fall of unions and the ongoing fight for workplace equality.



Claim No Easy Victories

Claim No Easy Victories Author Firoze Manji
ISBN-10 2869785550
Release 2013-10
Pages 520
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'In this unique collection of essays contemporary thinkers from across Africa and internationally commemorate the anniversary of Amilcar Cabral's assasination. They reflect on the legacy of this extraordinary individual and his relevance to contemporary struggles for self-determination and emancipation."--bookcover.



Only One Thing Can Save Us

Only One Thing Can Save Us Author Thomas Geoghegan
ISBN-10 9781595588654
Release 2014-12-02
Pages 224
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Is labor’s day over or is labor the only real answer for our time? In this new book, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan argues that even as organized labor seems to be crumbling, a revived—but different—labor movement is now more relevant than ever in our increasingly unequal society. The inequality reshaping the country goes beyond money and income: the workplace is more authoritarian than ever, and we have even less of a say over our conditions at work. He tells us stories, sometimes humorous but more often chilling, about problems working people like his own clients—cabdrivers, cashiers, even Chicago public school teachers—now face in our largely union-free economy. He then explains why a new kind of labor movement (and not just more higher education) will be crucial for saving what is left of the middle class; pushing Keynes’s original, sometimes forgotten ideas for getting the rich to invest and reduce our balance of trade; and promoting John Dewey’s "democratic way of life"—one that would start in the schools and continue in our places of work. A "public policy" book that is compulsively readable, Only One Thing Can Save Us is vintage Geoghegan, blending acerbic and witty commentary with unparalleled insight into the real dynamics (and human experience) of working in America today.



The Debt Bomb

The Debt Bomb Author Senator Tom Coburn
ISBN-10 9781595554680
Release 2013-04-01
Pages 384
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In a nation whose debt has outgrown the size of its entire economy, the greatest threat comes not from any foreign force but from Washington politicians who refuse to relinquish the intoxicating power to borrow and spend. Senator Tom Coburn reveals the fascinating, maddening story of how we got to this point of fiscal crisis—and how we can escape. Long before America’s recent economic downturn, beltway politicians knew the U.S. was going bankrupt. Yet even after several so-called “change” elections, the government has continued its wasteful ways in the face of imminent danger. With passion and clarity, Coburn explains why Washington resists change so fiercely and offers controversial yet commonsense solutions to secure the nation’s future. At a time when millions of Americans are speculating about what is broken in Washington, The Debt Bomb is a candid, thoughtful, non-partisan exposé of the real problems inside our government. Coburn challenges the conventional wisdom that blames lobbyists, gridlock, and obstructionism, and places the responsibility squarely where it belongs: on members of Congress in both parties who won’t let go of the perks of power to serve the true interests of the nation—unless enough citizens take bold steps to demand action. “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” —John Adams Throughout a distinguished career as a business owner, physician, and U.S. senator, Tom Coburn has watched his beloved republic careen down a suicidal path. Today, the nation stands on the precipice of financial ruin, a disaster far more dangerous to our safety than any terrorist threats we face. Yet Coburn believes there is still hope—if enough Americans are willing to shake the corridors of Washington and demand action. With an insider’s keen eye and a caregiver’s deft touch, Coburn diagnoses the mess that career politicians have made of things while misusing their sacred charge to govern. Coburn’s incisive analysis: Reveals the root causes of America’s escalating financial crisis Exposes Washington’s destructive appetite for wasteful spending, power grabs, backroom deals, and quick non-fixes Rises above partisanship to implicate elected officials of all stripes in steering the nation off course Lays out a commonsense guide to restoring order Concludes with a clarion call and sound advice for Americans who would dedicate themselves to defusing the debt bomb Above all, Coburn believes the United States can continue as a beacon of opportunity for future generations—but how we act today will determine whether we deliver the nation to our children and grandchildren fully alive, on life support, or without a pulse.



Household Workers Unite

Household Workers Unite Author Premilla Nadasen
ISBN-10 9780807014516
Release 2015-08-25
Pages 248
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Telling the stories of African American domestic workers, this book resurrects a little-known history of domestic worker activism in the 1960s and 1970s, offering new perspectives on race, labor, feminism, and organizing. In this groundbreaking history of African American domestic-worker organizing, scholar and activist Premilla Nadasen shatters countless myths and misconceptions about an historically misunderstood workforce. Resurrecting a little-known history of domestic-worker activism from the 1950s to the 1970s, Nadasen shows how these women were a far cry from the stereotyped passive and powerless victims; they were innovative labor organizers who tirelessly organized on buses and streets across the United States to bring dignity and legal recognition to their occupation. Dismissed by mainstream labor as “unorganizable,” African American household workers developed unique strategies for social change and formed unprecedented alliances with activists in both the women’s rights and the black freedom movements. Using storytelling as a form of activism and as means of establishing a collective identity as workers, these women proudly declared, “We refuse to be your mammies, nannies, aunties, uncles, girls, handmaidens any longer.” With compelling personal stories of the leaders and participants on the front lines, Household Workers Unite gives voice to the poor women of color whose dedicated struggle for higher wages, better working conditions, and respect on the job created a sustained political movement that endures today. Winner of the 2016 Sara A. Whaley Book Prize From the Hardcover edition.



Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity

Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity Author William I. Robinson
ISBN-10 9781107067479
Release 2014-07-28
Pages 258
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This book discusses the nature of the new global capitalism, the rise of a globalized production and financial system, a transnational capitalist class, and a transnational state and warns of the rise of a global police state to contain the explosive contradictions of a global capitalist system that is crisis-ridden and out of control.



Strike for America

Strike for America Author Micah Uetricht
ISBN-10 9781781683262
Release 2014-03-11
Pages 128
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The Chicago Teachers Union strike was the most important domestic labor struggle so far this century—and perhaps for the last forty years—and the strongest challenge to the conservative agenda for restructuring education, which advocates for more charter schools and tying teacher salaries to standardized testing, among other changes. In 2012, Chicago teachers built a grassroots movement through education and engagement of an entire union membership, taking militant action in the face of enormous structural barriers and a hostile Democratic Party leadership. The teachers won massive concessions from the city and have become a new model for school reform led by teachers themselves, rather than by billionaires. Strike for America is the story of this movement, and how it has become the defining struggle for the labor movement today. From the Trade Paperback edition.



Poor Workers Unions

Poor Workers  Unions Author Vanessa Tait
ISBN-10 089608714X
Release 2005-01
Pages 258
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“Finally, the book we've all been waiting for! With gripping tales of grassroots experiments in social justice unionism from the 1960s to the present, Vanessa Tait cracks wide open our concept of what a labor movement looks like, and shows how it can be part and parcel of movements for racial and gender justice. In the process, she does a stunning job of helping us imagine workers' movements that are creative, democratic, and, above all, build power from below—pointing the way to a vibrant future for labor.”—Dana Frank, UC-Santa Cruz; author of Buy American: The Untold Story of Economic Nationalism “A critical contribution to broadening our understanding of who and what is the labor movement in the USA. . . . Tait captures the dynamism of alternative forms of working class organization that have long been ignored. In formulating a new direction for organized labor in the USA, the history Tait addresses must become a recognized part of our foundation.”—Bill Fletcher, Jr., President, TransAfrica Forum and former assistant to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney “While the AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions desperately try to figure out how to rebuild and energize the labor movement, this exceptional book reveals that poor workers have been showing the way for the past forty years. Utilizing original documents, Tait examines . . . a wide range of movements organized by poor workers to improve their circumstances and build a more just society, including the Revolutionary Union Movement, the National Welfare Rights Organization, ACORN's Unite Labor Unions, workfare unions, and independent workers' centers. She demonstrates that these movements were founded and developed upon principles of rank-and-file control, democracy, community involvement, and solidarity and aimed to improve all aspects of workers' lives. . . . Both labor activists and labor historians will learn much from this book.”—Michael Yates, author of Why Unions Matter



The Next America

The Next America Author Paul Taylor
ISBN-10 9781610396684
Release 2016-01-26
Pages 384
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The America of the near future will look nothing like the America of the recent past. America is in the throes of a demographic overhaul. Huge generation gaps have opened up in our political and social values, our economic well-being, our family structure, our racial and ethnic identity, our gender norms, our religious affiliation, and our technology use. Today’s Millennials—well-educated, tech savvy, underemployed twenty-somethings—are at risk of becoming the first generation in American history to have a lower standard of living than their parents. Meantime, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every single day, most of them not as well prepared financially as they’d hoped. This graying of our population has helped polarize our politics, put stresses on our social safety net, and presented our elected leaders with a daunting challenge: How to keep faith with the old without bankrupting the young and starving the future. Every aspect of our demography is being fundamentally transformed. By mid-century, the population of the United States will be majority non-white and our median age will edge above 40—both unprecedented milestones. But other rapidly-aging economic powers like China, Germany, and Japan will have populations that are much older. With our heavy immigration flows, the US is poised to remain relatively young. If we can get our spending priorities and generational equities in order, we can keep our economy second to none. But doing so means we have to rebalance the social compact that binds young and old. In tomorrow’s world, yesterday’s math will not add up. Drawing on Pew Research Center’s extensive archive of public opinion surveys and demographic data, The Next America is a rich portrait of where we are as a nation and where we’re headed—toward a future marked by the most striking social, racial, and economic shifts the country has seen in a century.



The End of American Labor Unions

The End of American Labor Unions Author Raymond L. Hogler
ISBN-10 1440832390
Release 2015-02
Pages 192
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By examining the history of the legal regulation of union actions, this fascinating book offers a new interpretation of American labor-law policy—and its harmful impact on workers today.