Union Organizing

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Connexions Library

Almanac Singers: Connexipedia Article
Article
Group of American folk musicians specialized in topical songs, especially songs connected with union organizing.
Battle in Nicaragua's Maquiladoras: Against The Current vol. 87
Feeley, Dianne
Article
2000
Nicaragua has only one major "free trade zone," Las Mercedes, and unlike the rest of Central America, half of the workers there have managed to build unions. Recently the zone management and the Labor...
Beating Back the Corporate Attack: Socialism and the struggle for global justice
Clement, Chris; La Botz, Dan; Luce, Stephanie; Post, Charlie
Book
2000
Our movement is calling for a new direction -- for democratic control of our political life, and for democratic control over the most important aspects of the economy. Why should handful of the super-...
Capitalism and the National Question in Canada
Teeple, Gary
Book
1972
Essays examining a variety of questions about Canada's past, from a Marxist perspective.
La Causa: The California Grape Strike
Fusco, Paul (photos); Horwitz, George D. (text)
Book
1970
A documentary of the California grape workers' strike.
The Chinese Working Women's Network: Against The Current vol. 113
Ngai, Pun; Ming, Yang Lie
Article
2004
There is no doubt that China is growing rapidly in importance in the global economy. China has now surpassed the United States as the largest destination in the world for foreign investment. While man...
Class Composition and the Theory of the Party at the Origin of the Workers-Councils Movement
Bologna, Sergio
Article
1972
Re-examines a crucial segment of labour history, the German workers' council experience, which bridges the classical socialist phase of the Second and Third Internationals, and the post-Keynesian peri...
Columbia's Paramilitary Politics: Against The Current vol. 135
Gill, Lesley
Article
2008
In a surprise move in the early morning of May 13th, Colombian President Álvaro Uríbe announced the extradition of fourteen top paramilitary leaders to the United States, where they are charged with c...
Critique of Syndicalist Methods: Trade-Unionism to Anarcho-Syndicalism
Bonanno, Alfredo M.
Article
1975
Bonanno's 1975 meditation on the means to be used in pursuit of the anarchist project. Emphasizes the utility of unions in propagating capitalist control of industry and agriculture.
Facebook Facts: Finding Friends and Foes
Blackadder, Derek
Article
2008
Unions and workers are making much use of the latest web fad: social networking sites. But are sites like Facebook really adding anything to our ability to organize? If yes, how, exactly? And where ar...
Facing the Toyota "Pattern": Against The Current vol. 131
Feeley, Dianne
Article
2007
Highly praised as a “breakthrough” in the mainstream and business press, the new United Auto Workers contract at General Motors is a stunning retreat for the union, threatening the existence of most h...
Fighting for Union Autonomy: Mexican Miners On Strike: Against The Current vol. 122
La Botz, Dan
Article
2006
On April 20 eight hundred state and federal police launched an assault on 500 striking workers who had been occupying a steel mill in Lázaro Cárdenas. Two were killed, five seriously injured and 40...
The First Legal Russian Strike in a Decade: Against The Current vol. 132
Article
2008
The almsot month-long strike at the Ford-Vsevolozhsk assembly plant, a small plant near St. Petersburg, ended December 16 with an agreement that negotiations would resume. The strike began on November...
Getting Organized: Building a Union
Cornish, Mary; Ritchie, Laurell
Book
1980
See also CX2340.
Guide to taking strike action: Tips and advice on how to effectively organise and carry out strike action at your workplace.
Article
2006
Our labour is the ultimate weapon that workers possess. Without workers bosses cannot make a profit. Strike action can be very powerful, but at the same time it, at the very least, reduces take home p...
Harlan County USA
Kopple, Barbara
Film
1976
An effort of 180 coal miners and their wives to strike for benefits at the Eastover Coal Company's Brookside Mine in Harlan County, southeast Kentucky in 1973.
Having the Hard Conversations: Jane McAlevey on Fight for 15, labour's crisis of strategy, and the difference between organizing and mobilizing
McAlevey, Jane; Rozworski, Michael
Article
2015
An interview with labour organizer Jane McAlevey on labour's crisis of strategy and the difference between organizing and mobilizing. McAlevey discusses what ails the labour movement, problem with the...
How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers
Labor Notes
Book
2014
How to Jump-Start Your Union tells how activists transformed their union and gave members hope. Readers will learn how to run for office, work with their communities, build stewards' networks, train n...
An Interview with Patricia Campbell: Against The Current vol. 123
Finkel, David
Article
2006
Patricia Campbell is President of the Irish Independent Workers Union (IWU), an independent trade union and social movement in both the north and south of Ireland. She is a deputy editor of the journa...
It's Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor
Macaray, David
Book
2009
Most of the labor essays included here were written over the last seven years and appeared originally in various publications, including CounterPunch, The Exception Magazine, Liberalati, Los Angeles T...
Kicking Ass for the Working Class: Against The Current vol. 133
Moody, Kim
Article
2008
There it was, staring at me from the AFL-CIO’s very own blog: a black sign with bold red letters saying “KICKING ASS FOR THE WORKING CLASS,” signed AFL-CIO. Surely they meant to say “working for,” or ...
Killer Coke Exposed: Against The Current vol. 135
Abbott, Jared
Article
2008
In their September-October 2006 Against the Current (ATC 124) article “The Real Life Side of Coke,” Camilo Romero and Leslie Gill documented the growing movement of students and labor organizations th...
The "Labor Aristocracy" and Working-Class Struggles: Consciousness in Flux, Part 2: Against The Current vol. 124
Post, Charles
Article
2006
Whatever the theoretical and empirical problems with the economics of the labor aristocracy thesis, its defenders still claim that well paid workers have generally been more reformist and conservative...
Labor on the Ropes: Against The Current vol. 135
Leyshon, Traven
Article
2008
In U.S. Labor in Trouble and Transition, Kim Moody focuses on why the organized labor movement went into decline and points to potential signs of revival. The author’s explanation begins with the wors...
Labor Politics in Action, 1901-1911: The Union Labor Party of San Francisco: Against The Current vol. 81
Perry, Hayden
Article
1999
In 1900 San Francisco had an organized labor movement that reflected the unique development of this metropolis of the West. San Francisco did not experience the slow and steady growth of Chicago and o...
Labor Scores at Verizon: Against The Current vol. 89
Douglas, Rachel
Article
2000
On August 6 87,000 members of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) struck Verizon Communications in twelve states from Maine to Vir...
The Labor Wars
Lens, Sidney
Book
1973
A survey of landmark events in the U.S. labour movement.
Labor's Disaster at American Axle: Against The Current vol. 137
Feeley, Dianne
Article
2008
The 87-day strike earlier this year at American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) ended in a rout that has devastating implications for the organized U.S. labor movement. Begun on a snowy morning early Febru...
Labor's Giant Step: The First Twenty Years of the CIO: 1936–55
Preis, Art
Book
1964
The story of the explosive labor struggles and political battles in the 1930s that built the industrial unions.
Life After Death for Labor?
Cohen, David
Book
2015
A review of Stanley Aronowitz's book "The Death and Life of American Labor: Toward a New Workers’ Movement."
Life Support for Labor?
Schafer, Meredith
Article
2015
The Debate Over how to save the labour movement suffers from a serious deficit of books written by organizers. Rarely do we get an entire book by someone who has been organizing for four decades, and ...
Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global
Mason, Paul
Book
2010
Mason realtes a series of struggles for worker and human rights over the past two hundred years and compares them to current struggles.
The Making of Jericho Road: Against The Current vol. 132
Williams, Charles
Article
2008
An interview with Michael Honey. The paperback edition of Michael Honey’s Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign is released this January 2008.
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media
Herman, Edward S.; Chomsky, Noam
Book
1988
Contrary to the usual image of the press and cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitious in its search for truth, Herman and Chomsky depict how an underlying elite consensus largely structures all facets...
A Marxist History of the World part 102: What is neoliberalism?
Faulkner, Neil
Article
2012
The ‘free-market’ theory provides a pseudo-scientific justification for the greed and poverty endemic to the system, and the main beneficiaries are the global mega-corporations of neoliberal capitalis...
A Militant, "Minority" Union?
Early, Steve
Article
2013
At the AFL-CI0 convention in Los Angeles in September 2013, a small group of rank-and-file workers managed to alter the convention agenda -- by threatening to protest the presence of Kaiser Permanente...
Morris Slavin: 1913-2006: Against The Current vol. 124
Phelps, Christopher
Article
2006
Morris Slavin, a historian of the French Revolution and one of the last remaining veterans of the American Trotskyist movement of the early 1930s, died on February 6 in Denver, Colorado, at the age of...
The Newsletter #2
Serial Publication (Periodical)
1973
NYU: Nerds on Strike!: Against The Current vol. 120
Plumb, Amanda
Article
2006
On November 9, 2005, graduate student employees at New York University (NYU) put down their red pens and picked up their picket signs. After a 2004 ruling by a Bush- appointed majority of the National...
Organizing a Union
Audio
1976
The procedures for obtaining certification from the Labour Relations Board.
Organizing Immigrant Labour
Verzuh, Ron
Article
2014
Barriers to unionizing the smelter workers of Trail, British Columbia, during the Second World War.
Organizing Unions
Cornish, Mary; Spink, Lynn
Book
1994
How to form or build a union. Shows how to strength organizing drives by responding to the concerns of all workers, including women, immigrant workers, people of colour, workers with disabilities, leb...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - December 5, 2015
Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
2015
This issue of Other Voices covers a wide range of issues, from the climate crisis and the ecosocialist response, to terrorism and the struggle against religious fundamentalism, as well as items on urb...
The Press and the Class Struggle: Against The Current vol. 131
Eidlin, Barry
Article
2007
Early on the morning of August 19, 1997, the U.S. labor movement experienced something it had rarely known in recent years: a victory on a national scale. After two weeks out on strike, over 185,000 m...
Promoting your union: Six strategies to get more organizing leads and union members
Mann, Jason
Book
Promoting Your Union is a book to help union organizers get more organizing leads, create outreach plans to bring in new members and build the power of their unions. The ideas in this book are based o...
A Proposal to American Labor: 'Open source unionism' could reinvigorate American labor in the age of the Internet
Freeman, Richard B.; Rogers, Joel
Article
2002
The authors posit that union membership is too restricted by the requirement that unions have majority support in the workplace. They believe that pro-union workers who are a minority in their workpla...
Queer Activism in the Labor Movement
Smith, Sara R.
Article
2015
In the 1970s, Teresa Rankin kept her sexual orientation private while organizing textile workers at J.P. Stevens in North Carolina. When the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) offe...
Rank and File: Personal Histories of Working Class Organizers
Lynd, Alice; Lynd, Staughton (eds.)
Book
1973
A collection of stories and recollections from labour movement organizers.
Reading, Writing and Union Building: Against The Current vol. 138
Early, Steve
Article
2009
The United States changed forever on November 4, 2008. It will undoubtedly change even more during the next four years — although just how remains to be determined. There has never been such a converg...
A Reluctant Memoir of the '50s and '60s: Against The Current vol. 134
Le Blanc, Paul
Article
2008
I have been asked to write a memoir that would give a sense of the old left/new left realities of the 1950s and ‘60s. That seems quite odd to me (why would I be writing such a thing?), until I look in...
Review Essay: Reutherism Redux: Against The Current vol. 112
Early, Steve
Article
2004
Despite stepped-up union recruitment, farm workers and poultry processors still haven't taken over the AFL-CIO. But the old guard's fear of being swamped by low-wage workers—expressed by this AFT del...
Revolutionary Centennial: Guyana's 1905 Rebellion: Against The Current vol. 114
Westmaas, Nigel
Article
2005
1905 was a landmark year in the history of Guyana, as it was for several places around the world. In Russia, the Tsar and his troops shot workers delivering a petition in St. Petersburg. In Bengal t...
The Socialist Register 1968: Volume 5: A Survey of Movements & Ideas
Miliband, Ralph; Saville, John (eds.)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
1968
Speech at the Founding Convention of the Industrial Workers of the World
Debs, Eugene
Article
1905
I realize that I stand in the presence of those who in the past have fought, are fighting, and will continue to fight the battles of the working class economically and politically, until the capitalis...
Strike Lessons from the Last Twenty-Five Years: Walking Out and Winning: Against The Current vol. 124
Early, Steve
Article
2006
Labor's strike effectiveness and organizational strength have long been connected. Throughout history, work stoppages have been used for economic and political purposes, to alter the balance of power ...
Talking About Organizing: A Series
Article
2014
This is an active online archive of commentaries and stories, first published in Our Times, about the experience of union organizing: what works and what doesn't. It's also the place where you'll find...
A Time for Learning: Against The Current vol. 133
Slaughter, Jane
Article
2008
I don't recall being aware of the events in France in May-June 1968. I was in college, beginning to get radicalized on several fronts, notably the war. Something called the “Free University” was start...
Trade Unions Bread & Roses The trade union revival: New Internationalist December 2001
Serial Publication (Periodical)
2001
A look at some of the facts and issues regarding trade unions and what they have done for people in various parts of the world.
A Troublemaker's Handbook: How to Fight Back Where You Work -- And Win!
La Botz, Dan
Book
1991
An organizing manual for workers dealing with both major issues and everyday problems in the workplace.
A Troublemaker's Handbook 2
Slaughter, Jane (ed.)
Book
A manual for workers who want to take control over their lives at work. In hundreds of first-person accounts, workers tell in their own words how they organized and struggled to do that.
25 Years After the Gdansk Uprising: Against The Current vol. 121
Weissman, Suzi
Article
2006
Suzi Weissman interviews David Ost. The occupation of the Gdansk shipyard by Polish workers in 1980, demanding recognition of their independent trade union Solidarnosc, rocked the Eastern bloc and ins...
A Union Defeated at United Air Lines: Against The Current vol. 134
Miah, Malik; O'Rourke, Terry
Article
2008
The April 1 certification of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) was no April Fool’s joke for the 8600 eligible mechanic and related United Airlines (UAL) employees who voted in the March...
U.S. Labor's Subterranean Fire: Against The Current vol. 131
Post, Charlie
Article
2007
The broad outlines of the crisis of the U.S. labor movement -— sharply declining union density, concession bargaining, failures to organize the growing non-union manufacturing and service sectors, the...
What Happened - and Didn't: Behind New York's Transit Strike: Against The Current vol. 124
Downs, Steve
Article
2006
Early on December 20, 2005, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, representing some 33,000 of New York City's subway and bus workers, called a strike. When dawn broke, there was no public transport...
When the UAW Was Young: Against The Current vol. 131
Feeley, Dianne
Article
2007
An interview with Erwin and Estar Baur.
Worst Companies for Union Organizing Highlighted for International Human Rights Day
Article
2009
The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) has released "Working for Scrooge: Worst Companies of 2009 for the Right to Associate," a list of the four worst multinational corporations for union organi...

Connexions Directory of Groups & Websites

Against the Current
Bi-monthly magazine oriented toward movements for social and economic justice; radical, socialist and feminist in orientation.
Confederation of Canadian Unions
To promote the study, defense and development of the economic, social and moral interests of all workers in Canada. The CCU is building a democratic labour movement, where rank and file members reall...
Labor Notes
Labor Notes is a media and organizing project that has been the voice of union activists who want to put the movement back in the labor movement since 1979. Through our magazine, website, books, conf...
Marxists Internet Archive
Large archive of the writings of Marx and Engels and of others in the Marxist tradition. Searchable.
News and Letters
An organization of Marxist-Humanists standing for the abolition of capitalism, both in its private property form and ins its state property form. We stand for the deveopment of new human relations; wh...

Sources Experts & Spokespersons

Sources Library

Operation Dixie
Wikipedia article
Operation Dixie was the name of the post-World War II campaign by the Congress of Industrial Organizations to unionize industry in the Southern United States, particularly the textile industry. Launch...

From the Connexions Archives

Against the Current
Serial Publication (Periodical)
1986
Bi-monthly magazine oriented toward movements for social and economic justice; radical, socialist and feminist in orientation.
Cleaners' Action Newsletter
Periodical profile published 1979
Serial Publication (Periodical)
1979
Cleaner's Action is a monthly newspaper published in Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Marxists Internet Archive
Website
Large archive of the writings of Marx and Engels and of others in the Marxist tradition. Searchable.
Organizing for Workers' Power!
Engler, Allan
Article
Allan Engler, author of Economic Democracy, critiques segments of the left for largely ignoring working class power. Recognizing that social change can only be carried through by the working class, En...