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Union label
Civil wars in U.S. labor : birth of a new workers' movement or death throes of the old?
Steve Early.
Chicago, Ill. : Haymarket Books, c2011.
Introduction : from the Sixties to San Juan -- The quest for union renewal -- Taking the high road to growth -- A scramble for new members -- Dial 1-800-my-union? -- Who rules SEIU (and who doesn't) -- The mother of all trusteeships -- Ivy league amigos no more -- The progressive quandary -- How EFCA died for Obamacare -- Labor day, the sequel -- Conclusion : signs of a new workers' movement?.
     
Black power at work : community control, affirmative action, and the construction industry
edited by David Goldberg and Trevor Griffey.
Ithaca, N.Y. : ILR Press/Cornell University Press, 2010.
To realize the urban redevelopment programs of the 1960s, cities employed exclusively white union locals to rebuild predominantly black inner-city neighborhoods. African American activists across the country, who had been fighting for local community control of inner-city economies, protested these decisions and forced politicians to use affirmative action as a way to desegregate the construction industry. Black Power at Work chronicles the efforts of the Black Power movement to open up the construction industry to African Americans between 1963 and 1969, a landmark struggle that gave rise to the affirmative action policies that have since helped diversify the American workplace. Through case studies of local movements in Brooklyn, Newark, the Bay Area, Detroit, Chicago, and Seattle, this book shows how racism in the building trades unions became a flashpoint for activism by the Black Power movement and community control organizers during the 1960s. It also speaks directly to much more recent debates about job training and placement for unemployed, underemployed, and underrepresented workers. The Black Power movement's demands for community control of construction, access to decent-paying jobs, and union inclusion remain, four decades later, equally relevant today, as does the book's focus on the synergy between labor activism and community organizing.
     
Restoring the power of unions : it takes a movement
Julius G. Getman.
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2010.
The labor movement is weak and divided. Some think that it is dying. But Julius Getman, a preeminent labor scholar, demonstrates through examination of recent developments that a resurgent labor movement is possible. He proposes new models for organizing and innovating techniques to strengthen the strike weapon. Above all, he insists that unions must return to their historical roots as a social movement.
     
Work and sing : a history of occupational and labor union songs in the United States
by Ronald D. Cohen.
Crockett, Calif. : Carquinez Press, 2010.
  1. Includes index.
  2. Includes bibliographic reference (p. 179-189).
  3. The early decades -- African American songs -- Labor/union songs : part 1 -- The later 1930s and the war years -- The postwar years to 1960 -- Recent decades.;
     

One goal of a union is to give workers a united voice in their workplace. Elected union officials negotiate wages, hours, working conditions and benefits. Labor union representatives work out the terms and conditions under which their membership shall be employed through the collective bargaining process. Under the National Labor Relations Act, the employer is required to bargain in good faith with intent to reach an agreement.

All persons, whether a union or non-union worker, farmer, housewife or in politics, have likely been affected by the activities of labor organizations. Nationwide efforts and many union members walked the picket line to get the eight-hour day along with improved working conditions and compensation.

"Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."

Founder AFL Samuel Gompers

"Let all thoughtful citizens sustain them [workers], for the future of Labor is the future of America."

Founder CIO John L. Lewis

"Every piece of progressive social legislation passed by Congress in the 20th century bears a union label. "

First president AFO-CIO George Meany

With the passage of the landmark Labor Standards Act(FLSA) many of these goals were achieved. Although not established through labor agreements, but by law, the FLSA is a measure enacted by the U.S. Congress that established a national minimum wage, guaranteed time and a half for overtime and restricted the hours and types of jobs that children can work. The eight-hour day was realized for many working people under the New Deal, which made it a legal day's work throughout the nation.

Today unions bargain over reimbursement of tuition fees, cost-of-living adjustments, safety and health protections on the job, health care coverage and pensions.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff