Unions in Crisis? : the Future of Organized Labor in America
February 22, 2011
From the Publisher:
Arguing that a strong union movement is needed now more than ever, this book outlines the major changes unions need to make to revitalize the U.S. labor movement.
Unionism in the United States was quite successful during and after World War II, especially during the golden years of American capitalism (1947-73) as workers’ wages increased quite dramatically in a number of industries. For example, average hourly earnings for workers in meatpacking rose 114% between 1950 and 1965, those in steel 102%, in rubber tires by 96%, and in manufacturing 81%. At the same time as union members’ wages were increasing, union membership was declining. Yet, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) argued that organizing new members was not a priority. By concentrating on the existing membership and bread-and-butter issues, and not organizing new members, unionism could not deal with the attack on the social contract by employers and the government beginning in the United States in the late 1970s. However, while many people are claiming that organized labor is a dinosaur, Schiavone argues that a strong union movement is needed now more than ever.
Unions in Crisis? : the Future of Organized Labor in America, by Richard M. Steers, Carlos Sanchez-Runde and Luciara Nardon. New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010. 439 p. ISBN 9780521513432 (hbk.)
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