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Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in History

Steelworkers' Victory At Ravenswood: Picket Line Around The World, Tom Juravich, Kate Bronfenbrenner Apr 2013

Steelworkers' Victory At Ravenswood: Picket Line Around The World, Tom Juravich, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

The second in a two-part series details the sophisticated international campaign and grass-roots activism that gave labor one of its biggest wins in the '90s.


Locked Out But Holding Together In Ravenswood, Tom Juravich, Kate Bronfenbrenner Apr 2013

Locked Out But Holding Together In Ravenswood, Tom Juravich, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

The first in a two-part series that details the Steelworkers' victory at Ravenswood Aluminum - one of labor's biggest wins in the '90s.


Organizing In The Nafta Environment: How Companies Use “Free Trade” To Stop Unions, Kate Bronfenbrenner Apr 2013

Organizing In The Nafta Environment: How Companies Use “Free Trade” To Stop Unions, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] These findings point to both an enormous challenge and a great opportunity for American unions. Clearly, under NAFTA and other free trade agreements more and more employers will feel emboldened to threaten to close the plant during organizing campaigns, and workers and unions will find organizing increasingly difficult. At the same time, unions have an opportunity to overcome these barriers to organizing if they commit enough resources to run large-scale, aggressive campaigns which mobilize the rank-and-file workers to build a union in their workplace, regardless of the intensity of the employer’s campaign.


Foreword To The Killing Of Karen Silkwood, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

Foreword To The Killing Of Karen Silkwood, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] The Killing of Karen Silkwood, therefore, is both a cautionary and inspirational tale. It reminds us of what we are up against and what it takes to win. But most of all it reminds us why each of us must stand with the whistle-blowers and the ordinary heroes that are among us, in the workplace, in government, and in our communities, and, if given the opportunity, become ordinary heroes ourselves. The risks are great, but the costs of not standing up and not speaking out are even greater.


Reversing The Tide Of Organizing Decline: Lessons From The Us Experience, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

Reversing The Tide Of Organizing Decline: Lessons From The Us Experience, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

As increasing numbers of employers and governments in industrialized nations hasten to "Americanize" their economic policies, labor laws, and union-avoidance strategies, it has become critical for unions in other countries to learn what they can from the organizing experience of the US labor movement. Most research on factors contributing to US organizing decline has focused on the role played by factors external to the labor movement such as global competition, de-industrialization, changes in workforce demographics, new work systems, deregulation, aggressive employer opposition, and weak and poorly enforced labor laws. US unions, however, have greatly contributed to their own decline by ...


California Farmworkers’ Strikes Of 1933, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

California Farmworkers’ Strikes Of 1933, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] The spring of 1933 ushered in a wave of labor unrest unparalleled in the history of California agriculture. Starting in April with the Santa Clara pea harvest, strikes erupted throughout the summer and fall as each crop ripened for harvest. The strike wave culminated with the San Joaquin Valley strike, the largest and most important strike in the history of American agriculture. All told, more than 47,500 farmworkers participated in the 1933 strikes. Twenty-four of these strikes, involving approximately 37,500 workers, were under the leadership of the Communist-led Cannery and Agricultural Workers Industrial Union (CAWIU). In a ...


Imperial Valley, California, Farmworkers’ Strike Of 1934, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

Imperial Valley, California, Farmworkers’ Strike Of 1934, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] In early November 1933, organizers from the Communist-led Cannery and Agricultural Workers Industrial Union (CAWIU) returned to the Imperial Valley, where just four years before their first strike among California's agricultural workers had ended in a swift and inglorious defeat. Now they returned to the valley, fresh from their strike victories in the fall fruit harvest campaign, confident that the time was now ripe to bring unionization to the Imperial Valley lettuce fields. Conditions in the valley in November 1933 certainly appeared more conducive to the CAWIU's success. Wages for lettuce workers were as low as ten ...


Imperial Valley, California, Farmworkers’ Strike Of 1930, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

Imperial Valley, California, Farmworkers’ Strike Of 1930, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] On January 1, 1930, several hundred Mexican and Filipino lettuce workers in Brawley, California, walked off their jobs in a spontaneous protest against declining wages and intolerable working conditions. In less than a week they were joined by 5,000 other field workers, and the impromptu walkout of Imperial Valley lettuce workers turned into a serious strike, ushering in a decade of farmworker militancy that sent tremors throughout California's powerful agricultural establishment.


Vacaville, California, Tree Pruners’ Strike Of 1932, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

Vacaville, California, Tree Pruners’ Strike Of 1932, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] Two days after the November 1932 elections, newly elected California congressman Frank H. Buck provoked a massive tree pruners' strike when he announced a wage cut for pruners on his ranch from $1.40 for an eight-hour day to $1.25 for a nine-hour day. Buck, one the largest growers in the Vacaville fruit growing region, had raised wages to $1.40 during his congressional campaign, promising farmworkers even higher wages if he won the election. Running under the campaign slogan "Give Government Back to the People," Buck garnered nearly unanimous support from farmworkers in the Vacaville area. Within ...


California Pea Pickers’ Strike Of 1932, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

California Pea Pickers’ Strike Of 1932, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] Just before the start of the May 1932 harvest season, growers in the Half Moon Bay area of San Mateo, California, provoked a spontaneous strike among pea pickers when they reduced piece rates from seventy-five to fifty cents a pack. Although the workers were unorganized, the large pay cut represented the breaking point for families just coming out of the slow winter season. The previous year's rate of seventy-five cents a pack had not been enough to tide them over through the winter, especially given the four dollars a month rent they were required to pay the growers ...


Introduction To Ravenswood: The Steelworkers’ Victory And The Revival Of American Labor, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Tom Juravich Mar 2012

Introduction To Ravenswood: The Steelworkers’ Victory And The Revival Of American Labor, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Tom Juravich

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] When the Ravenswood Aluminum Company locked out seventeen hundred workers on October 31, 1990, it hardly looked like a big opportunity for labor. In what had become standard operating procedure for employers during the 1980s, management broke off bargaining with the United Steelworkers of America, and then brought hundreds of replacement workers into a heavily fortified plant surrounded by barbed wire and security cameras. Injunctions prevented union members from doing little more than symbolic picketing, and the wheels of justice, as they had done for more than a decade, creaked ever so slowly. All the pieces were in place ...