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Three Strikes: Labor's Heartland Losses and What They Mean for Working Americans

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Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

This eloquently written book chronicles the massive, protracted strikes waged against three large corporations in Decatur, Illinois, in the 1990s. Veteran journalist Stephen Franklin shows how labor disputes at Bridgestone/ Firestone, Caterpillar, and A. E. Staley left lasting scars on this town and its citizens--and marked a turning point in American labor history. When workers went on strike to retain such basic rights as job security and the 8-hour day, the corporations hit back with unprecedented hard-line tactics. Through the moving stories of individual workers and union activists, Franklin illuminates the hardships and disillusionment left in the wake of the strikes, and the powerful forces that caught an unprepared labor leadership off guard. He vividly portrays how the balance of labor-management power was shifted by corporate globalization, cutthroat labor practices, the outdated responses of national unions and government regulators, and an apathetic public. Reflecting on the hard-won lessons of Decatur, the book describes how the quality of work and life are now threatened--not just for blue-collar workers, but for all Americans--and what it will take to safeguard them.

About the Author

Stephen Franklin has been a labor writer for the Chicago Tribune for nearly a decade. Before joining the Tribune, he worked for newspapers in Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Miami.

Table of Contents

Foreword, William Serrin

Introduction: On Work, Writing about Work, and the Workers in Decatur

I. They Lead the Way

1. Destined to Do Right: Larry Solomon, Union Man, versus Caterpillar

2. Searching for a Strategy: Staley, a Small-Town Family Business, Goes Global

3. Labor's Savior?: Ray Rogers, Slayer of Corporate Battle Plans

4. A Leader for the New World Business Order: Don Fites Remakes Caterpillar's Ambitions

5. An Honest-to-Goodness Hard-Liner: Bill Casstevens, Career UAW Man

II. A Blue-Collar Legacy: Working in History's Wake

6. On the Prairie's Terms

7. Factory Town USA

8. The Great Industrial Slide and Washout: A Storm Cloud in American History?

9. The Scab Ascendancy: How Weakened Unions Got Even Weaker

III. A Call to Arms

10. Sizing Up the Enemy

11. The New Paladins: Guardians at the Gates

12. Collapse and Surrender

13. A Historical Question: What If . . . ?

14. Forming a Second Front: The Staley Workers Join the Fray

15. A Third Flank: The Tire Workers Go on Strike and the Beginning of the End of a Longtime Union

IV. Skirmishes and Sieges

16. Living amid Fear and Hatred: The Strikebreakers

17. The New Law of a Larger Land: The Gladiator Companies

18. No Help Here: The Trade Union Workers

19. Lost in a Maze: The NLRB

V. Rallying

20. Hit and Run at Caterpillar

21. Desperately Seeking Solutions

22. The Ballot Box Rebellion

23. The Road Warriors Meet the Labor Mandarins

VI. Surrender and Retreat

24. Slumbering into Oblivion

25. Still Waiting for Victory¿Or Something

26. A Sad Armistice: The Staley Workers Lose Out

27. All Things Fall Apart: The Caterpillar Workers Suffer Defeat Too

28. An Unexpected Good-Bye: The Bridgestone/Firestone Workers Lose Some of Their History

VII. Heartfelt Losses

29. Unhealing Wounds

30. Leave No Bodies Behind: The Autoworkers Live Up to Their Word

31. Strategic Instincts: The Steelworkers Think Globally

32. Lost on Eldorado

Epilogue: Heartbreak in the Heartland

Product Details

ISBN:
9781572307971
Author:
Franklin, Stephen
Publisher:
Guilford Publications
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Labor & Industrial Relations - General
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
Politics-Labor
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20020931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
308
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Business » Human Resource Management
Business » Management
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Labor

Three Strikes: Labor's Heartland Losses and What They Mean for Working Americans New Trade Paper
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Product details 308 pages Guilford Publications - English 9781572307971 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
This eloquently written book chronicles the massive, protracted strikes waged against three large corporations in Decatur, Illinois, in the 1990s. Veteran journalist Stephen Franklin shows how labor disputes at Bridgestone/ Firestone, Caterpillar, and A. E. Staley left lasting scars on this town and its citizens--and marked a turning point in American labor history. When workers went on strike to retain such basic rights as job security and the 8-hour day, the corporations hit back with unprecedented hard-line tactics. Through the moving stories of individual workers and union activists, Franklin illuminates the hardships and disillusionment left in the wake of the strikes, and the powerful forces that caught an unprepared labor leadership off guard. He vividly portrays how the balance of labor-management power was shifted by corporate globalization, cutthroat labor practices, the outdated responses of national unions and government regulators, and an apathetic public. Reflecting on the hard-won lessons of Decatur, the book describes how the quality of work and life are now threatened--not just for blue-collar workers, but for all Americans--and what it will take to safeguard them.

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