Trade Unions

Gutting Public Unions

William P. Jones
Dissent
Daniel DiSalvo's self proclaimed 'non-partisan' attack on public unions as greedy, inefficient and undemocratic, 'Government Against Itself,' has been welcomed by the right and granted recognition for its 'scholarship' even by some on the left. Not so fast, argues William P.

Can "Solidarity Unionism" Save the Labor Movement?

Eric Dirnbach
Waging Nonviolence
In any case, union contracts and the working conditions they codify are the current compromise between labor and capital in any given workplace. With or without a contract, workers will have to struggle. Staughton Lynd doesn't seem to consider the possibility that some workers may not be looking for constant class warfare on the job, and that settling a decent contract offers a much needed respite to lock-in gains.

US Labor Law at 80: The Enduring Relevance of Class Struggle Unionism

Immanuel Ness
Portside
At the center of the liberal democratic system, workers have fiercely resisted exploitation through the development of worker-based organizations rooted in the ideal of paving the road to a classless and democratic society. All those seeking greater labor militancy must recognize that traditional unions are unable to escape the trap set in the 1930s through fidelity to the collective bargaining agreement. [An earlier version was published by CounterPunch.]

5 Vital Lessons from American Labor's Rise and Fall

James M. Larkin
The Nation
America's unions have been in retreat for decades - but can history point toward some fresh starts? Steve Fraser's book The Age of Acquiescence reminds us that America's worker movement-100 years ago-was a rather militant creature compared to today. Then, it was worker militias, "bread and roses," and unabashed class conflict; now, it's defense and dwindling membership, and disappointing Democrats. How did we get here?

Tidbits - September 10, 2015 - GOP, Trump and Appeal to Reaction; No Union Mines in Kentucky; Black Panther Party film; Alabama's Black Communists and #BLM; New Resource: Black Lives Matter Syllabus; and more...

Portside
Reader Comments: The GOP, Trump and the Appeal to Reaction; No Union Mines in Kentucky; Black Panther Party film; Lessons from Alabama's Black Communists and the #BLM; Indigenous People's History of the United States; Serena Williams; Climate Change and Workers; New Resource: Black Lives Matter Syllabus; Livestream Sept. 18: Unions, Workers, and the Democratic Party

Where's the Outrage?

Rich Yeselson
Dissent Summer 2015 issue
The book under review examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts by workers to resist and the housebreaking of a long-running anti-capitalist ethos from imaginative, frenzied opposition to diffuse, angry, but ultimate accommodation. While a residual 19th century fight-back culture built the CIO and defended the New Deal into the 1960s, it lacked the same emancipatory charge it had earlier, and unions shifted to cautious monitors of the working class

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