The Transformation of U.S. Unions: Voices, Visions, and Strategies from the Grassroots

By Ray M. Tillman; Michael S. Cummings | Go to book overview

The Contributors

Robin Alexander is the director of International Labor Affairs for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). She is responsible for the cross-border organizing campaign being conducted by the UE and the Frente Autentico del Trabajo (Mexico's only independent labor federation) through a strategic organizing alliance. Alexander drafted the first complaint to be filed under the Labor Side Agreement of NAFTA, known as NAALC.

Herman Benson is the founder and executive director of the Association for Union Democracy (AUD), a nonprofit foundation devoted to promoting the principles and practices of internal union democracy. He has edited the AUD publication Union Democracy Review since 1972 and is the author of several books, including the Democratic Rights of Union Members: A Guide to Internal Union Democracy (1979). In 1992, Benson was honored by the Metro New York Labor Press Council for his long commitment to helping the union movement rid itself of corruption and to helping rankand-file members gain a voice in running their unions.

Jeremy Brecher is the author of eight books on labor and other social movements, including Strike! His most recent projects involve his collaborations with Tim Costello, which include Building Bridges: The Emerging Grassroots Coalition of Labor and Community and Global Village or Global Pillage: Economic Reconstruction from the Bottom Up. Brecher serves as humanities scholar-in-residence at Connecticut Public Television and Radio, a position supported by the Connecticut Humanities Council. He recently won two Emmy Awards and the Edgar Dale Screenwriting Award for The Roots of Roe.

Tim Costello was a truck driver and a workplace activist for more than twenty years and a union representative for SEIU Local 285 in Boston for four years. He is currently organizing Northeast Action's Massachusetts Jobs Project.

Michael S. Cummings is professor and chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Colorado at Denver. While completing his Ph. D. at Stanford University, he became active in political groups promoting social and economic justice. A member of the American Federation of Teachers, he has encouraged union-organizing efforts among full- and parttime college faculty. His book Beyond Political Correctness: Social Transformation in the United States will be published by Lynne Rienner in 1999.

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The Transformation of U.S. Unions: Voices, Visions, and Strategies from the Grassroots
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes *
  • 1 - A New Labor Movement in the Shell of the Old? 9
  • 2 - A Rising Tide of Union Democracy 27
  • Notes *
  • 3 - The New Afl-Cio: No Salvation from on High for the Working Stiff 49
  • 4 - Labor:Turning the Corner Will Take More Than Mobilization 61
  • Notes *
  • 5 - Learning from the Past to Build the Future 87
  • 6 - The Dynamics of Change 97
  • Notes *
  • 7 - Unsung Heroes of Union Democracy: Rank-And-File Organizers 117
  • Notes *
  • 8 - Reform Movement in the Teamsters and United Auto Workers 137
  • Notes *
  • 9 - Hell on Wheels: Organizing Among New York City's Subway and Bus Workers 167
  • Notes *
  • 10 - The Local Union: a Rediscovered Frontier 191
  • 11 - Restructuring Labor's Identity: the Justice for Janitors Campaign in Washington, D. C. 203
  • Notes *
  • 12 - Lessons from the Umwa 219
  • Notes *
  • 13 - Cross-Border Alliances in the Era of Globalization 239
  • Notes *
  • 14 - A Strategic Organizing Alliance Across Borders 255
  • Notes *
  • Conclusion: Union Democracy and Social Unionism 267
  • Notes *
  • Selected Readings 275
  • The Contributors 279
  • Index 283
  • About the Book 297
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