American Labor Unions in the Electoral Arena by Herbert B. Asher, Eric S. Heberlig, Randall B. Ripley

By Herbert B. Asher, Eric S. Heberlig, Randall B. Ripley

Are modern U.S. hard work unions beside the point, or in truth a altering strength to be reckoned with as they develop right into a new economic climate in a globalized the US? Is the present political strength exercised by means of U.S. hard work unions extra comparable to the social pursuits of the sixties or the curiosity politics of the nineties? After successful the presidency of the AFL-CIO in 1995, John Sweeney and his colleagues have taken strides to make hard work extra vital within the usa economically and politically, regardless of lowered club. right here, 4 authors come jointly to survey the prestige of work unions prior, current, and destiny, nationally in addition to throughout the microcosm of the hard work scenario in Ohio, one of many greatest, such a lot consultant, and so much electorally major states within the country.
The authors specialize in union club, management, political attitudes, ideas, and grassroots mobilization to color an image of union revitalization in a context of financial and social swap. American exertions nonetheless wields clout on Election Day, yet union revitalization is a piece in growth. For unions to topic on a daily basis to their contributors and leaders, they need to consolidate their financial bases and upward push to the demanding situations conscientiously documented during this e-book.

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Fourth, what is the general state of present union strengths, weaknesses, and resources as they pursue their interests and goals? Fifth, as unions seek renewal of their economic and political power what questions need to be addressed? LABOR UNIONS: INTEREST GROUPS OR SOCIAL MOVEMENT? Are labor unions interest groups or a social movement? ” Sweeney suggests a dichotomous choice for organized labor: either it must function as a “social movement” or as a ‘‘special interest group” (1996). , see Burstein 1998; Freeman 1999; and Lowi 1971).

Other studies make the point that unions have to make a tradeoff when they allocate resources to organizing activity and to political activity (Delaney, Fiorito, and Masters 1988; P. Johnson 1991). Union leaders at all levels have to choose among a variety of political issues on which to lobby and political campaigns on which to work and the pursuit of basic economic goals. Neither their time, nor the time and attention of union members, nor the money necessary to facilitate the achievement of various economic and political goals is unlimited.

Rank-and-file members cede decision making to officers, cease attending meetings, and become detached from the organization. Officers devise ways to stay in office, defend their organizational practices, and stifle protests. (1995, 16) In short, the history of organized labor displays a general trend in which aspects of social movement behavior have diminished and been replaced by a bureaucratic set of organizations. One persuasive analysis of the progress of organized labor along this path (Lowi 1971, 12–21) portrays this development as basically inevitable.

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