The Civil Wars in U.S. Labor: Birth of a New Workers' Movement or Death Throes of the Old?
By Steve Early
Between 2008 and 2010, the progressive wing of the U.S. labor movement tore itself apart in a series of union-on-union struggles. More than 140 million dollars was expended, by all sides, on organizing conflicts that tarnished union reputations and undermined the campaign for real health care and labor law reform. Campus and community allies, along with many rank-and-file union members, were left angered and dismayed. It was ugly and destructive.
In this incisive new book, labor journalist Steve Early draws on scores of interviews and on his own union organizing experience to explain why and how these labor civil wars occurred. He examines the bitter disputes about union structure, membership rights, organizing strategy, and contract standards that enveloped SEIU, UNITE HERE, the California Nurses Association, and independent organizations like the Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico and the new National Union of Healthcare Workers in California. Along the way, we meet rank-and-file activists, local union officers, national leaders, and concerned friends of labor who were drawn into the fray.
If you want a better understanding of why the labor movement is struggling for survival today, read this. 440 pages paperback