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US Trade Unionism since 1940

(see also US Trade Unionism before 1940 & Global Trade Unionism)

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On the Web: Articles

Who Murdered Gilberto Soto? David Bacon, American Prospect (1/4/05).

On the Web: Specialized Sites


American Federation of State, County & Municipal Workers (AFSCME).

American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Association for Union Democracy.

Czarnecki's Labor Education Links.

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. German Social Democrat organization promoting world-wide struggle trade union democracy, social development & human rights.

Hotel & Restaurant Employees International Union.

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The "Wobblies," still alive & kicking.

International Labour Organization (ILO).

Jobs with Justice.


Labor Notes: Putting the movement back in the Trade Union Movement.

New Labor Forum.


Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Silicon Valley At Work.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union.

United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE).

United Food & Commercial Workers International (UFCW).

US Labor Against the War.

In the Library: Articles

Benson, H.W. "Miners for democracy: a report from West Virginia," Dissent 19,4 (1972):632-38.

__________. "Labor leaders, intellectuals, & freedom in the unions," Dissent 20,2 (1973):206-10.

Cooper, Marc. "The naked & the red," Nation (4/21/03):21-23. Union organizing among Las Vegas strippers & nude dancers.

Goldblatt, Louis. "Labor & overdue social change," Monthly Review 33,4 (9/81):64.

Foster, John Bellamy. "The working class: is it dead?" Monthly Review (12/86):55-64.

Koeppel, Barbara. "Ron Carey," Progressive (4/95):34-36.

Kwik, Phil. "Pittston: class war in the coalfields," Against the Current (1-2/1990):7-9.

Lynd, Staughton. "Trade unionism in the USA," New Left Review 184 (1990):76-95. Review essay on Moody, An Injury to All & Montgomery The Fall of the House of Labor, with reply by Moody.

Weiler, Paul. "Promise to keep: securing worker's rights to self-organization under the NLRA," Harvard Law Review (6/83):1769-1825.

Wrenn, Rob. "The decline of American labor," Socialist Review 82/83 (1985):89-117.

Wypijewski, Joann. "Whose steel?," Nation (7/15/02):16-21. US steel industry needs help.

Yates, Michael D. "Does the US labor movement have a future?" Monthly Review 48,9(2/97):1-18.

_____________. "From the coal wars to the Pittston strike," Monthly Review 42,2 (6/90):25-39.

In the Library: Non-Fiction Books

Bergquist, Charles. Labor & the Course of American Democracy: US History in Latin American Perspective (NY, 1996).

Bingham, Clara & Laura Leedy Gansler. Class Action (NY: Doubleday, 2002). Hard-fought lawsuit by women workers at Eveleth iron mine in Minnesota. Obtained redress for demeaning treatment, & redefined sexual harassment law.

Boyle, Kevin. The UAW & the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968 (Ithaca: Cornell, 1995).

__________ (ed.) Organized Labor & American Politics, 1894-1994: The Labor-Liberal Alliance (Albany: SUNY, 1998).

Braverman, Harry. Technology, the Labor Process & the Working Class (NY: Monthly Review, 1976).

Brecher, Jeremy. Strike! [1972] (rev. ed.; Boston: South End, 1997). Strikes in trade union movement since 1870s.

__________ ; Jerry Lombardi & Jan Stackhouse (eds.) Brass Valley: The Story of Working People's Lives & Struggles in an American Industrial Region (Philadelphia: Temple, 1980).

__________ & Tim Costello (eds.) Building Bridges: The Emerging Grassroots Coalition of Labor & Community (NY:
Monthly Review, 1990).

Buhle, Paul & Alan Dawley (eds.) Working for Democracy: American Workers from the Revolution to the Present (Urbana: U. Illinois, 1985).

__________. From the Knights of Labor to the New World Order: Essays on Labor & Culture (NY: Garland, 1997).

Cherry, Robert. Who Gets the Good Jobs? Combating Race & Gender Disparities (New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers, 2001).

Clark, Paul F. The Miner's Fight for Democracy: Arnold Miller & the Reform of the United Mine Workers (Ithaca: Cornell, 1981).

Cook, Fred J. Walter Reuther: Building the House of Labor (Chicago: Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1963).

Dark, Taylor E. The Unions & the Democrats. An Enduring Alliance (Ithaca, 1999).

Erem, Suzan. Labor Pains: Inside America's New Union Movement (NY: Monthly Review, 2002). Conflicting demands of race, class & gender as experienced by a union organizer.

Franco, Joseph with Richard Hammer. Hoffa's Man: The Rise & Fall of Jimmy Hoffa as Witnessed by his Strongest Arm (NY: Prentice-Hall, 1987).

Fraser, Steven & Joshua B. Freeman. Audacious Democracy. Labor, Intellectuals, & the Social Reconstruction of America (NY, 1997).

García, Mario T. Memories of Chicano History: The Life & Narrative of Bert Corona (Berkeley: U. California, 1994).

Gerstle, Gary. Working-Class Americanism: The Politics of Labor in a Textile City, 1914-1960 (NY: Cambridge, 1989)

Gindin, Sam. The Canadian Auto Workers: The Birth & Transformation of a Union (Toronto: James Lorimer, 1995). How, while the American UAW declined, the CAW became an increasingly independent & progressive trade union.

Ginger, Ann Fagan & David Christiano (ed.) The Cold War Against Labor (NY: Monthly Review, 1982).

Griffith, Barbara S. Crisis of American Labor: Operation Dixie & Defeat of the CIO (Philadelphia: Temple, 1988).

Halpern, Rick & Roger Horowitz. Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers & their Struggle for Racial & Economic Equality (NY: Monthly Review, 199?).

Heron, Craig & Robert Storey (eds.) On the Job: Confronting the Labour Process in Canada (Montreal: McGill-Queens, 1986).

James, Ralph C. & Estelle Dinerstein James. Hoffa & the Teamsters: A Study of Union Power (Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1965).

Kelber, Harry. Ten Ways to Reform an Undemocratic AFL-CIO: How Members Can Reclaim their Rights & Have a Voice & a Role in their Unions (Brooklyn NY: Labor Educator, 2003).

Korstad, Robert Rodgers. Civil Rights Unionism (Chapel Hill: U. North Carolina, 2003).

Kraditor, Aileen S. "Jimmy Higgins": The Mental World of the American Rank-and-File Communist, 1930-1958 (NY: Greenwood, 1988)

LaBotz, Dan. Rank-&-File Rebellion: Teamsters for a Democratic Union (NY: Routledge, 1990). Critical review by Jonathan Tasini in Nation (3/25/91):387-8.

Lens, Sidney. The Crisis of American Labor (NY: Sagamore, 1959).

__________. Working Men: The Story of Labor (NY: Putnam, 1960).

Lichtenstein, Nelson. State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (Princeton: Princeton U, 2002?).

Lipsitz, Georg. Rainbow at Midnight: Labor & Culture in the 1940s (Urbana: U. of Illinois, 1994).

Lynd, Alice & Staughton Lynd (eds.) Rank & File: Personal Histories by Working-Class Organizers (Boston: Beacon, 1973).

Lynd, Staughton (ed.) American Labor Radicalism: Testimonies & Interpretations (NY: Wiley, 1973).

__________. The Fight Against Shutdowns: Youngstown's Steel Mill Closings (San Pedro: Singlejack, 1982).

__________. Solidarity Unionism: Rebuilding the Labor Movement from Below (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1992).

__________. Labor Law for the Rank-&-Filer, or, Building Solidarity while Staying Clear of the Law (2nd ed.; Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1994).

__________ & Alice Lynd (eds.) The New Rank & File (Ithaca NY: ILR, 2000).

Mantsios, Gregory (ed.) A New Labor Movement for a New Century (NY: Monthly Review, 199?).

Moldea, Dan E. The Hoffa Wars: Teamsters, Rebels, Politicians & the Mob (NY: Paddington, 1978).

Moody, Kim. An Injury to All: The Decline of American Unionism (NY: Verso, 1988).

Montgomery, David. What's Happening to the American Worker? (Somerville MA: New England Free Press, 1970).

Mort, Jo-Ann. Not Your Father’s Union Movement: Inside the AFL-CIO (NY, 1998).

Murolo, Priscilla; A.B. Chitty & Joe Sacco. From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short, Illustrated History of Labor in the United States (NY, 2001).

Ness, Immanuel & Stuart Eimer (eds.) Central Labor Councils & the Revival of American Unionism: Organizing for Social Justice in Our Communities (Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, 2001)

Orren, Karen. Belated Feudalism: Labor, the Law & Liberal Development in the United States (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge, 1992).

Rachleff, Peter. Hard Pressed in the Heartland: The Hormel Strike & the Future of the Labor Movement (Boston: South End, 1993).

Salvatore, Nick. Seventy Years of Life & Labor: An Autobiography (ed. Nick Salvatore; Ithaca: Cornell, 1984).

Tattam, William & Jerry Lembcke. One Union in Wood: A Political History of the International Woodworkers of America (NY: International, 1984).

Tillman, Ray M. & Michael S. Cummings (eds.) The Transformation of U.S. Unions: Voices, Visions, & Strategies from the Grassroots (Boulder CO, 1999).

Wood, Ellen Meiksins. The Retreat from Class (London: Verso, 1986).

Yates, Michael D. Why Unions Matter (NY: Monthly Review, 199?).

__________. Power on the Job: The Legal Rights of Working People (Boston: South End, 1995).

Zieger, Robert H. & Gailbert J. Gall. American Workers, American Unions: The Twentieth Century (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2003).

Zimbalist, Andrew (ed.) Case Studies on the Labor Process (NY: Monthly Review, 1979).

In the Library: Fiction

Hannibal, Edward & Robert Boris. Blood Feud (NY: Ballantine, 1979). Robert Kennedy vs. Jimmy Hoffa.

In the Library: For Young Readers

In the Library: Poetry

In the Library: Drama

In the Library: Photography

CD & Audio

Film & Video

"Blue Collar" [1978], dir. Paul Schrader, ?m. In video stores. Trade union corruption in Detroit auto plant.

"Bread & Roses" [2000?], dir. Ken Loach, 110m. In video stores.

"Business as Usual" [1987], dir. Lezli-An Barret, ?m. Notable true-story account of women's resistance to sexual harassment in Liverpool workplace.

"F.I.S.T." [1978], dir. Norman Jewison, ?m. In video stores. Drama of teamster organizing.

"Hoffa" [1993], dir. Danny Vito, 140m. In video stores.

"I'm All Right Jack" [1959], dir. John & Roy Boulting, ?m. Conservative anti-union propaganda masquerading as comedy.

"The Life & Times of Rosie the Riveter" [1980], dir. Connie Field, ?m. Documentary on role of women in industrial production during & just after World War II.

"Nine to Five" [1980], dir. Colin Higgins, 110m. In video stores. Office workers imagining resistance.

"Norma Rae" [1979], dir. Martin Ritt, 113m. In video stores. Perhaps the best argument on film for why working people need a real trade union movement.

"Salt of the Earth" [1954], dir. Herbert J. Biberman, 94m. In video stores. Mexican American women take lead in strike at New Mexico's Empire Zinc mine.

"Silkwood" [1983], dir. Mike Nichols, ?m. In video stores. Oklahoma nuclear plant worker grows militant in response to endangerment of workers' health by radiation, & dies in mysterious circumstances.

"On the Waterfront" [1954], dir. Elia Kazan, 108m. In video stores. Ex-boxer turned NY longshoreman stands up to corrupt union bosses.

"Union Maids" [1976], dir. James Klein, Julia Reichert & Miles Mogulescu, 52m. From New Day Films.

"Wall Street" [1987], dir. Oliver Stone, ?m. In video stores. Trade unionism marginal to story, but its values are eloquently expressed by Martin Sheen as father to one of the ruthless brokers.

Monterey Bay Educators Against War
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