Longshoremen stand at the nexus of the global economy, handling nearly every cargo container that enters or leaves any country. Even in the face of the “containerization” of cargo in the 70s and 80s, a development that decimated longshore unions, they have managed to win contracts that provide exceptional benefits and high wages.
Labor Pains is an insider’s account of the struggle to rebuild a vibrant and powerful trade union movement in the United States. It takes as its starting point the daily experience of a union organizer, and brings that experience to life. It enables us to grasp how the conflicting demands of race, class, and gender are lived in the new union movement.