Autocracy and Insurgency in Organized Labor
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During a period when serious writing on the American Labor movement was at an absolute premium, the contributors to New Politics magazine created a body of literature distinguished by its clear-eyed vision of the limits and prospects of the working class. Assuming neither an "end of ideology" nor the "destruction of the working class," these writings are characterized by a precision matching their high purpose.
This collection of essays is unique in providing voice to insurgent members of such unions as the National Maritime Union, the Seafarers' International, the Brotherhood of Painters, the Federation of Teachers, the Miners' Union and others. Rank and filers describe their efforts to achieve membership participation and control of their unions. Progressive unions like Harry Bridge's West Coast longshoremen's union and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union are examined, as are some traditionally more conservative "business" unions. Officials of some of these unions comment and are answered by their critics.
This volume will be particularly useful to those interested in problems of work and labor in American society, problems of social organization, problems of mass and elite behavior in American industry, and to those who have come to realize that the working class, whether in ethnic or Americanist guise, remains a potent force in the political, economic and social life of the United States in the seventies.