Studies in Leadership: Leadership and Democratic Action

By Alvin W. Gouldner | Go to book overview

Grass-Roots Labor Leader1

BY JOHN W. ALEXANDER AND MORROE BERGER

TOM COBURN, a semiskilled worker in the Acme Brass Mill in a New England town of five thousand people, was in the vice-president's office negotiating for a wage increase for the three hundred production workers he represents as head of the Acme local of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelters Workers. Tom remarked that prices had gone up so high that a man's weekly pay envelope didn't contain enough to support his family decently any more. The vice-president turned to Tom and said, slowly:

"Well now, Tom, you're not doing so badly. You just paid off the mortgage on the house a couple of months back."

This is how trade unionism sometimes looks at the grass-roots level: collective bargaining takes on a personal tone since management can obtain through local connections information that would be irrelevant in bargaining on the regional or national level. But what of the union leader's relation to his members? How does this situation look at the grass-roots level? What does it mean to be the head of the union local at no salary plus headaches? How does a grass-roots labor leader, working in the plant alongside the men he represents, exercise and maintain his leadership?

To get one set of answers to these questions we studied the career of Tom Coburn at first hand. We found that Tom's story could illuminate still another set of questions because his parent union, the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, is said to be led by Communists and fellow travelers--two years ago locals began to secede on this very issue--and Tom is in full sympathy with

____________________
1
This is a previously unpublished paper.

-174-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Studies in Leadership: Leadership and Democratic Action
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 738

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.