Synopses & Reviews
With the decline of the labor movement in the United States over the past four decades, unions are facing the future with unresolved concerns over free trade agreements, dwindling memberships, and their own leverage with industry and government. Which Direction for Organized Labor? addresses critical questions facing the U.S. labor movement as it approaches the 21st century. It analyzes the overall state of organized labor and examines the direction it should take in rebuilding its strength and influence.
The editor has arranged this collection around the themes of organizing, reaching out, and self-transformation, and he presents essays that demonstrate the interconnection of these concepts. The initial selections examine prospects for growth by addressing the priority of the AFL-CIO to "organize the unorganized". These essays consider the current environment for organizing, examine present efforts, and propose major departures from past practices.
A second group of essays assesses labor's prospects for establishing supportive alliances with religious, community, and international organizations, arriving at some provocative conclusions that indicate the real source of external power for unions today. The final section examines the internal transformations that are needed if the labor movement is to successfully confront its challenges, evaluating past union modes of operation, present attempts to change, and lessons for the future.