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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Introduction To United Apart: Gender And The Rise Of Craft Unionism, Ileen A. Devault Oct 2012

Introduction To United Apart: Gender And The Rise Of Craft Unionism, Ileen A. Devault

Ileen A DeVault

[Excerpt] The American Federation of Labor entered the twentieth century ensconced as the primary vehicle for the nation's organized workers. As such, the attitudes of the AFL toward women workers provided the basis for virtually all later attempts at organizing women. The cross-gender strikes that are the basis of this book illustrate both the ways in which men and women would move forward united and the ways in which they would remain apart. That both females and males could at times feel drawn together and at other times feel driven apart, and carry both those feelings into their actions ...


Narratives Serially Constructed And Lived: Ethnicity In Cross-Gender Strikes 1887-1903, Ileen A. Devault Oct 2012

Narratives Serially Constructed And Lived: Ethnicity In Cross-Gender Strikes 1887-1903, Ileen A. Devault

Ileen A DeVault

[Excerpt] The strikes narrated in this paper have illustrated different ways in which individuals' recognition of ethnic identity could interact with their recognition of gender and class identities. In each strike workers' identities developed along with the serial narrative of the particular strike situation. The use of Sartre's concept of the series helps us think about the many possible variations of class, ethnicity, and gender. Though Sartre planned to use his concept of series as a way to examine peoples' class identities, my employment of the concept broadens it to include other categories of identification as well. Using the ...


White Collar/Blue Collar, Ileen A. Devault Oct 2012

White Collar/Blue Collar, Ileen A. Devault

Ileen A DeVault

[Excerpt] Examining the determinants of class for women and the ways men experienced gender will help clarify some of the ambiguous status of the clerical sector, but it will still not answer all of our questions. To understand the place of clerical work in the class structure, we need to examine more than just clerical work itself. A major argument of this book is that understanding the impact of clerical work on overall social stratification requires understanding stratification within the manual working class as well. The status of clerical work would perhaps be much clearer in contrast to that of ...


‘‘Too Hard On The Women, Especially’’: Striking Together For Women Workers’ Issues, Ileen A. Devault Oct 2012

‘‘Too Hard On The Women, Especially’’: Striking Together For Women Workers’ Issues, Ileen A. Devault

Ileen A DeVault

This essay draws upon a larger study of over forty strikes which involved both male and female strikers in the United States between the years 1887 and 1903. Here the focus of analysis is on those strikes which began with demands raised by women workers. The essay examines the nature of women workers’ demands, the ways in which cooperation with male co-workers altered those demands, and the affect that formal union involvement had on women strikers and their strike demands. Because the original set of case studies examines strikes across the United States, the strikes explored here also highlight a ...


"Give The Boys A Trade": Gender And Job Choice In The 1890s, Ileen A. Devault Oct 2012

"Give The Boys A Trade": Gender And Job Choice In The 1890s, Ileen A. Devault

Ileen A DeVault

[Excerpt] It seems redundant (but is unfortunately not unnecessary) to say that this response emphasizes the gendered nature of the famed "manliness" of turn-of-the-century skilled workers. Davis Montgomery has described how "the workers' code celebrated individual self-assertion, but for the collective good, rather than for self-advancement." The process by which these skilled workers chose their jobs suggests an intermediate step: between the "collective good" of the union and the "self-advancement' of the individual stood the smaller collective unit of the male-headed household. The sense of what it meant to "be a man" thus not only holds the potential of explicating ...


Political Insiders And Social Activists: Coalition Building In New York And Los Angeles, Marco Hauptmeier, Lowell Turner Oct 2012

Political Insiders And Social Activists: Coalition Building In New York And Los Angeles, Marco Hauptmeier, Lowell Turner

Lowell Turner

[Excerpt] Why have labor movements in New York City and Los Angeles changed so dramatically? And more specifically, why have the activist social coalitions that revitalized the labor movement in Los Angeles not played the same kind of role in New York? Our research persuades us that the relationship between .contrasting coalition types—political and social—is central to explaining the differences. Political coalitions refer to cooperation between unions and parties, politicians, and other social actors, focused largely on elections and policy-making processes. Social coalitions, by contrast, include labor and other social actors such as community, religious, environmental, and immigrant ...


Workers, Racism And History: A Response, Nick Salvatore Jul 2012

Workers, Racism And History: A Response, Nick Salvatore

Nick Salvatore

[Excerpt] This intimate dependence of white egalitarianism upon black exclusion forms the central theme of Herbert Hill's essay. Arguing that this condition is neither episodic nor solely of historical interest, Hill asserts that these racist attitudes (and the action that flowed from them) were systemic across two centuries of working class development and actually provide the central continuous rational for understanding institutional trade union activity from the early nineteenth century into the present. America's labor unions. Hill writes, are "the institutional expression of white working class racism, and of policies and practices that resulted in unequal access, dependent ...


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.


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 ...


Illegal Immigration And The Dilemma Of American Unions, Vernon Briggs Mar 2012

Illegal Immigration And The Dilemma Of American Unions, Vernon Briggs

Vernon M Briggs Jr

[Excerpt] Over its long and often turbulent evolution, the American labor movement has confronted few issues as persistently and as difficult has those related to subject of immigration. By definition, immigration affects the size of the labor force at any given time as well as its geographical distribution and skill composition. These vital influences, in turn, affect national, regional and local labor market conditions. Most immigrants directly join the labor force upon entering the country, as do eventually most of their family members. Hence, organized labor never has ignored immigration trends. As Samuel Gompers, one of the founders of the ...


Illegal Immigration And The Dilemma Of American Unions, Vernon Briggs Mar 2012

Illegal Immigration And The Dilemma Of American Unions, Vernon Briggs

Vernon M Briggs Jr

[Excerpt] Over its long and often turbulent evolution, the American labor movement has confronted few issues as persistently and as difficult has those related to subject of immigration. By definition, immigration affects the size of the labor force at any given time as well as its geographical distribution and skill composition. These vital influences, in turn, affect national, regional and local labor market conditions. Most immigrants directly join the labor force upon entering the country, as do eventually most of their family members. Hence, organized labor never has ignored immigration trends. As Samuel Gompers, one of the founders of the ...


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 ...


Unions And The Contingent Work Force, Kate Bronfenbrenner Mar 2012

Unions And The Contingent Work Force, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Kate Bronfenbrenner

[Excerpt] Unions seeking to organize the unorganized face increasing numbers of part-time, temporary and leased employees. These contingent workers now make up more than a quarter of the American work force. Of the new work force they are the least organized and perhaps the most difficult to organize. But they are also the group most in need of the protections, benefits and representation that a union can provide. There have always been some service industries such as hotel, health care and retail, that have maintained a large contingent work force because of long hours and fluctuating demand. Also there have ...


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 ...