Reorganizing the Rust Belt: An Inside Study of the American Labor Movement

Synopsis

"Based on his immersion in heated campaigns, Lopez analyzes just how difficult organizing for today's trade unions can be. Still the Sisyphean effort goes on, led by unions, such as SEIU, which notch up victories despite the uphill struggle. Lopez's participant observation is a model of clarity, theoretical imagination and methodological innovation. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand why unions are so weak in the US, and how they could become stronger."--Michael Burawoy, President of the American Sociological Association

"Lopez's beautifully written, lucid analysis of the new labor movement bristles with insights. This rare insider's account of contemporary organizing consistently avoids the easy answers and relentlessly confronts the limitations of union achievements, even as he appreciates their transformative potential."--Ruth Milkman, Director, UC Institute for Labor and Employment and author of "Farewell to the Factory

""Reorganizing the Rust Belt is the best ethnography around of,what it's like, day-to-day, to be inside an organizing campaign and contract mobilization. Lopez brings to life the limits and problems, the changes over time, the victories and ambiguities, experienced by workers and organizers in a progressive union."--Dan Clawson, author of "The Next Upsurge: Labor and the New Social Movements