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Full-Text Articles in Labor Relations

The Worker Center Handbook: A Practical Guide To Starting And Building The New Labor Movement, Kim Bobo, Marien Casillas Pabellon Sep 2016

The Worker Center Handbook: A Practical Guide To Starting And Building The New Labor Movement, Kim Bobo, Marien Casillas Pabellon

Book Samples

[Excerpt] Worker centers are becoming an important element in labor and community organizing and the struggle for fair pay and decent working conditions for low-wage workers, especially immigrants. There are currently more than two hundred worker centers in the country, and more start every month. Most of these centers struggle as they try to raise funds, maintain stable staff, and build a membership base. For this book, Kim Bobo and Marién Casillas Pabellón, two women with extensive experience supporting and leading worker centers, have interviewed staff at a broad range of worker centers with the goal of helping others understand ...


The New Focus Of Academic Organizing: Private Institutions Now Face Academic Collective Bargaining, Nicholas Digiovanni Jr. Feb 2016

The New Focus Of Academic Organizing: Private Institutions Now Face Academic Collective Bargaining, Nicholas Digiovanni Jr.

Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy

Academic labor unions will likely become a growing presence on the campuses of private colleges and universities in the years ahead due to three main factors. First, the NLRB has agreed to hear a case involving a petition by the United Auto Workers to represent graduate teaching assistants at The New School, and it is quite likely that the NLRB will reverse past precedent and find that graduate teaching and research assistants will have the right to unionize at private institutions. Second, the Board also issued a highly consequential decision in December of 2014 which will make it exceedingly difficult ...


Conceptualizing Labour Union Revitalization, Martin Behrens, Kerstin Hamann, Richard W. Hurd Nov 2015

Conceptualizing Labour Union Revitalization, Martin Behrens, Kerstin Hamann, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] Unions have engaged in revitalization efforts in all five country cases that form the basis of comparison of this book, though they differ in the strategies they have pursued and the level of success they have had. Some of the strategies have been promising or even successful in terms of their immediate outcomes; others are still waiting to be fully implemented; and still others have failed to live up to the original expectations. While in many countries union activists are eagerly developing strategies to turn their fate, they are also facing some doubt or even resistance by politicians and ...


How Does Restructuring Contribute To Union Revitalization?, Martin Behrens, Richard W. Hurd, Kerstin Hamann Nov 2015

How Does Restructuring Contribute To Union Revitalization?, Martin Behrens, Richard W. Hurd, Kerstin Hamann

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] As we look cross-nationally at labour movement revitalization, we see a complex process of change that varies depending on the socio-political/economic context. Although we observe a diverse set of union strategies and outcomes, we find that structural adjustment is a common element of revitalization efforts. The mere presence of restructuring does not, of course, assure positive results. In this chapter we define various forms of restructuring, outline factors that shape and promote restructuring, and discuss the likelihood that restructuring leads to union revitalization by using examples from our cross-country comparison.


Contesting The Dinosaur Image: The Labor Movement's Search For A Future, Richard W. Hurd Nov 2015

Contesting The Dinosaur Image: The Labor Movement's Search For A Future, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] As labor contests the dinosaur image it will find no easy answers. Hard work, careful assessment of options, and a willingness to take risks are all required. Without widespread experimentation and a significant reallocation of resources to organizing, extinction awaits.


New Labor In New York: Precarious Workers And The Future Of The Labor Movement, Ruth Milkman (Ed.), Ed Ott (Ed.) Jan 2014

New Labor In New York: Precarious Workers And The Future Of The Labor Movement, Ruth Milkman (Ed.), Ed Ott (Ed.)

Book Samples

[Excerpt] This book includes thirteen case studies of recent efforts by both unions and worker centers to organize the unorganized in the New York City metropolitan area. Home to some of the first U.S. worker centers and to thirty-seven of the 214 that exist nationwide at this writing, New York has the single largest concentration of this new form of labor organizing.1 In recent years, as part 4 of this volume documents, New York also has become a launching pad for efforts to expand the scale of worker centers by building national organizations, such as the TWAOC. However ...


Learning From Clerical Unions: Two Cases Of Organizing Success, Richard W. Hurd Oct 2013

Learning From Clerical Unions: Two Cases Of Organizing Success, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

This paper summarizes two successful clerical organizing campaigns. The first case describes the District 65 campaign to gain representation rights and contract protection for the clerical employees of Columbia University. The discussion reviews the tactics employed to win a representation election, to maintain rank and file involvement during an extended legal battle, and to conduct a successful strike for a first contract. The second case describes a campaign by Teamsters Local 364 to achieve recognition and bargaining rights for public school secretaries in South Bend, Ind. Already members of an employee association, the secretaries sought to affiliate with the Teamsters ...


A Retrospective On The Patco Strategy, Richard W. Hurd Oct 2013

A Retrospective On The Patco Strategy, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The destruction of PATCO has been written off by most labor leaders as the inevitable result of an ill-conceived challenge to an anti-union U.S. President. Although there is widespread sympathy for the rank and file members who lost their jobs in an attempt to exercise collective bargaining rights in the best tradition of the U.S. labor movement, there is at the same time much disdain for the actions of the national officers of PATCO, most notably President Bob Poli. Although the criticisms of the officers are at least partially valid, it is important to recognize that the ...


Progressive Union Organizing: The Seiu Justice For Janitors Campaign, Richard Hurd, William Rouse Oct 2013

Progressive Union Organizing: The Seiu Justice For Janitors Campaign, Richard Hurd, William Rouse

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] The Justice for Janitors campaign was conceived during a bitter labor dispute with Pittsburgh's Mellon Bank which started late in 1985. Mellon Bank, having just renewed an Service Employees International Union collective-bargaining agreement, replaced their former cleaning contractor with a nonunion company. The new contractor refused to honor the Mellon-SEIU labor accord and was willing to hire only half of Mellon's 80 janitors on a part-time basis with a substantial pay cut and no benefits. Mellon disclaimed any responsibility, stating that the dispute was strictly between the new cleaning contractor and the janitors. In response the SEIU ...


Charting Their Own Future: Independent Organizing By Professional Workers, Richard W. Hurd, Elisabet Tenenholtz Oct 2013

Charting Their Own Future: Independent Organizing By Professional Workers, Richard W. Hurd, Elisabet Tenenholtz

Richard W Hurd

In 2000 a group of about 100 physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists, most of whom are employed on a contingent basis in the home care division of a Virginia-based health care corporation, performed a remarkable feat. They organized an independent union and won an NLRB election in the face of stiff employer opposition. The story of the Organization of Home Care Professionals (OHCP) is intriguing in its own right because these professionals initially and explicitly steered clear of affiliation with any established union, preferring to chart their own course aimed at blending aspects of unions and professional associations ...


Public Sector Unions: Will They Thrive Or Struggle To Survive?, Richard W. Hurd, Sharon Pinnock Sep 2013

Public Sector Unions: Will They Thrive Or Struggle To Survive?, Richard W. Hurd, Sharon Pinnock

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] There is emerging consensus among public sector union leaders at the national level1 that the threats they face today are eerily similar to those ignored by private sector unions 20 years ago. Privatization, reinventing government, a changing public sector work force, anti-government forces on Capitol Hill and in statehouses, union myopia, and member apathy all are taken with the utmost seriousness. The situation calls for a sophisticated strategic response. Because they are operating from a position of relative strength, public sector unions must be at the forefront of any effort to re-establish union influence in our society. With this ...


After Bangladesh, Labor Unions Can Save Lives, Lance A. Compa Jul 2013

After Bangladesh, Labor Unions Can Save Lives, Lance A. Compa

Lance A Compa

[Excerpt] The factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers should be a pivot point for the global apparel industry, moving consumers to demand more accountability from brand-name companies that subcontract production to supply-chain factories around the world. Sadly, the history of workplace tragedies in so many of these factories suggests that after consumers in rich countries express horror and call for reforms, the demands for better worker protections die down and the marketplace for cheap apparel abides. But this cycle can finally be broken if demands for change start to focus on workers’ right to form ...


After Bangladesh, Labor Unions Can Save Lives, Lance A. Compa May 2013

After Bangladesh, Labor Unions Can Save Lives, Lance A. Compa

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] The factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers should be a pivot point for the global apparel industry, moving consumers to demand more accountability from brand-name companies that subcontract production to supply-chain factories around the world. Sadly, the history of workplace tragedies in so many of these factories suggests that after consumers in rich countries express horror and call for reforms, the demands for better worker protections die down and the marketplace for cheap apparel abides. But this cycle can finally be broken if demands for change start to focus on workers’ right to form ...


Workplace Change And The New Labor Movement, James Rundle, Kate Bronfenbrenner Apr 2013

Workplace Change And The New Labor Movement, James Rundle, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] The authors of this set of papers sharply critique, from a variety of perspectives, the approach to workplace change that has dominated labors thinking for decades. We have not attempted to balance these criticisms with arguments that labor can grow and prosper by fostering win-win methods and outcomes, because those arguments are well-known from a wide range of publications. Instead, we hope that these papers will stimulate and broaden the debate over a critical arena that has not been integrated with labor's new ambitions.


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.


Race, Gender, And The Rebirth Of Trade Unionism, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Dorian T. Warren Apr 2013

Race, Gender, And The Rebirth Of Trade Unionism, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Dorian T. Warren

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] Diversity is not the enemy of solidarity. We contend that solidarity can, and must, be built among an ever-diversifying labor movement, nation, and world. The labor movement's very survival depends on it.


Obits For Labor Unions Are Premature, Kate Bronfenbrenner Apr 2013

Obits For Labor Unions Are Premature, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] The press recently declared the end of the labor movement. It reported on a major new study by Harvard economist Richard Freeman and Joel Rogers of the University of Wisconsin, suggesting that American workers would prefer cooperative relationships with management to traditional labor unions. Coupled with union membership at less than 16 percent of the work force and a new wave of far-from-pro-labor Republicans marching into Washington, many see this as definitive proof of labor's obsolescence. A more careful analysis, however, reveals that this is far from the truth.


Invisible No More: The Role Of Training And Education In Increasing Union Activism Of Chinese Home Care Workers In Local 1199seiu United Healthcare Workers East (Uhe), Ken Margolies Mar 2013

Invisible No More: The Role Of Training And Education In Increasing Union Activism Of Chinese Home Care Workers In Local 1199seiu United Healthcare Workers East (Uhe), Ken Margolies

Ken Margolies

[Excerpt] In 2002 only a small number of Chinese home care workers represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (UHE) were involved in their union. Language, unfamiliarity with unions in the United States, and, in some cases, undocumented immigration status inhibited participation in the life of the union by the growing number of Chinese home care workers. Despite these obstacles in 2007 perhaps the most active segment of the 60,000 home care workers in 1199SEIU now comes from the approximately 10,000 Chinese home care workers. Today, Chinese home care workers are consistently overrepresented at union (not just home ...


Institutions And Activism: Crisis And Opportunity For A German Labor Movement In Decline, Lowell Turner Oct 2012

Institutions And Activism: Crisis And Opportunity For A German Labor Movement In Decline, Lowell Turner

Lowell Turner

In recent decades, German unions have rested on their institutional laurels even as the ground has slipped away. This article analyzes two recent innovative campaigns based on grassroots mobilization that, the author argues, offer possibilities for renewed union strength. A breakthrough campaign against a militantly anti-union firm in the retail industry demonstrates the potential for a German brand of social movement unionism. The story line and institution-building strategy of this campaign fall entirely outside the framework of traditional German industrial relations. A second, very different campaign, from deep inside that traditional framework, has mobilized union members in Nordrhein-Westfalen (IG Metall ...


The Decline Of Labor: A Grim Picture, A Few Proposals, Nick Salvatore Aug 2012

The Decline Of Labor: A Grim Picture, A Few Proposals, Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] The social context of this four-decade decline challenges a central assumption of the cyclical theory. More than a third of the decline occurred during the 1950s and 1960s, decades of broad economic growth and, for the 1960s, of liberal Democratic ascendancy. Labor lost another 15 percent during the stagflation of the 1970s, despite the Democratic return to power in the wake of a discredited Republican administration. By the 1980s, when a structurally weakened labor movement faced Ronald Reagan, plant closings and demands for concessions accelerated the decline. Organized labor's absolute and proportional decline over decades in which the ...


A War Against Organizing, Kate Bronfenbrenner Apr 2012

A War Against Organizing, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] Unless Congress passes serious labor law reform with real penalties, only a small fraction of the workers who seek union representation will succeed. If recent trends continue, there will no longer be a functioning legal mechanism to effectively protect the right of private-sector workers to organize and collectively bargain. Our country cannot afford to make workers defer their rights and aspirations for union representation any longer.


Organizing For Keeps: Building A Twenty-First Century Labor Movement, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

Organizing For Keeps: Building A Twenty-First Century Labor Movement, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] In the last several years a great deal of discussion has taken place both inside and outside the labor movement about the need for American unions to organize massive numbers of unorganized workers. Who exactly this target workforce should be, ranging from low-wage contingent workers in home care, janitorial, or food service occupations, to the legions of unorganized clerical workers in business services, to the expanding professional and technical workforce in our "high tech" economy; to both skilled and unskilled production workers in the light manufacturing plants which have sprouted up across the South and rural Midwest, remains a ...


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.


What Do Workers Want: Reflections On The Implications Of The Freeman And Rogers Study, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

What Do Workers Want: Reflections On The Implications Of The Freeman And Rogers Study, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] Despite talk in the media and academia concerning worker attitudes about unions and workplace participation, there is precious little data to inform any of these discussions. Thus, research of the scope and scale of the Workplace Representation and Participation Study is of enormous value to the field of industrial relations because it provides important insights into worker attitudes about their jobs, rights, power, and future opportunities. Yet, because there is so little other data available to put Freeman and Rogers's research into context, it becomes all the more essential that we bring great care to our analysis of ...


Changing To Organize: Unions Know What Has To Be Done. Now They Have To Do It, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

Changing To Organize: Unions Know What Has To Be Done. Now They Have To Do It, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] Even leaving aside the unusual events of last year, it is clear that despite all the new initiatives and resources devoted to organizing and all the talk of “changing to organize,” American unions are at best standing still. They will need to organize millions, not hundreds of thousands, of workers each year if they are to reverse the tide and begin to regain their influence and power in American society. Why is this so difficult? Why has it taken so long for new organizing initiatives to bear significant fruit? After spending the past fourteen years conducting a series of ...


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 ...


Introduction To Global Unions: Challenging Transnational Capital Through Cross-Border Campaigns, Kate Bronfenbrenner Feb 2012

Introduction To Global Unions: Challenging Transnational Capital Through Cross-Border Campaigns, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] The chapters in this book make clear that unions have the capability to build the cross-border coalitions necessary to take on transnational corporations. The question is whether they are willing to make the fundamental ideological and cultural changes necessary to make this happen on a global scale. If they are, then maybe it will be five, not twenty years before Wal-Mart is no longer driving the global race to the bottom; before firms such as Exxon Mobil, Coca-Cola, Talisman, Caterpillar, and any number of large pharmaceutical companies will no longer be able to profess to be good corporate citizens ...


Conclusion To Global Unions: Challenging Transnational Capital Through Cross-Border Campaigns, Kate Bronfenbrenner Feb 2012

Conclusion To Global Unions: Challenging Transnational Capital Through Cross-Border Campaigns, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] What the cases in this book show is that the world's unions have a greater potential than most realize to take on the most powerful corporations and win. These cases also show how difficult that can be. It requires enormous effort, creativity, and a willingness to take risks and reach across differences. But going from individual cases to something bigger requires something else as well. As difficult as times are for workers in the Global North, and as much as the wealth accumulated by global capital comes mostly from taking enormous profits at the expense of all workers ...


Organizing Clerical Workers, Richard W. Hurd May 2011

Organizing Clerical Workers, Richard W. Hurd

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] There are two organizing models that are effective among clerical workers. One model is the media-oriented, high-tech type of organizing. AFSCME does this very well; some other unions have also used it effectively. It starts with polling and opinion research on the work force that might be organized. This is followed up by targeted direct mail, telephone banks, radio and TV ads, campaign-specific newspapers and so on. This type of campaign is most appropriate for large public-sector units, especially when the clericals work in multiple locations. It is an important and successful means of organizing, but it has limited ...


Unionization Among College Faculty - 1996, Richard W. Hurd, Amy Foerster May 2011

Unionization Among College Faculty - 1996, Richard W. Hurd, Amy Foerster

Richard W Hurd

[Excerpt] Unionization among college and university faculty continued its slow but steady increase in 1995. Academic unions now represent 246,207 professors, a growth of 3,986 (1.65 percent) from that reported in last year’s NCSCBHEP's Directory of Faculty Contracts and Bargaining Agents in Institutions of Higher Education. We can now report 504 bargaining agents on 1,115 campuses throughout the United States. These increases can be attributed to three sources. First, unions won 4 out of 4 collective bargaining elections during 1995 to determine new bargaining agents. Second, some existing bargaining units grew in size as ...