1st Edition

Trade Unions and the Betrayal of the Unemployed Labor Conflicts During the 1990's

By Immanuel Ness Copyright 1998
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the problematic relationship between unions and the unemployed in New York City during the 1990's. Historically, trade unions in the U.S. have had an interest in the political mobilization of the jobless to expand unemployment insurance and lessen the threat of lower wages, reduced union density, and weaker bargaining positions for unions. Despite these advantages, trade unions have rarely organized the unemployed, because they represent a potential threat to the organizational control, leadership, and legitimacy of the trade unions themselves. Moreover, the interests of the unemployed conflict directly with those of the securely employed trade unionist.
    The study identifies union responses to unemployment at local and regional levels and the responses of independent activist organizations. The research suggests that hiring hall unions produce exclusive organizing strategies that have deeper accountability to their members, but with organizing objectives that serve only the narrow interests of core members. By contrast, workplace-based unions typically engender class-oriented unions with narrow accountability to members, but with organizing objectives that extend beyond their immediate members.

    Chapter 1: Trade Union Mobilization: Worker Power and Organizational Strategy, Chapter 2: The Unemployed in Historical Perspective: Opportunities and Challenges to Trade Union Power in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century America, Chapter 3: Rising Unemployment and Declining Trade Union Power in Four New York City Labor Markets, Chapter 4: Trade Unions and the Unemployed: From Formal Responses to Crisis Management, Chapter 5 : Organized Labor Responds to Rising Unemployment, Chapter 6: Inclusive Labor Issue Coalitions on Unemployment, Chapter 7: Hiring Halls and Workplaces: Trade Union Organizing Strategies and Unemployment Practices, Appendices.


    Immanuel Ness (Author)