Friday April 25th, 2014

Labor

Silvertown

Silvertown

The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement

In 1889, Samuel Winkworth Silver’s rubber and electrical factory was the site of a massive worker revolt that upended the London industrial district which bore his name: Silvertown. Once referred to as the “Abyss” by Jack London, Silvertown was notorious for oppressive working conditions and the relentless grind of production suffered by its largely unorganized, unskilled workers. These workers, fed-up with their lot and long ignored by traditional craft unions, aligned themselves with the socialist-led “New Unionism” movement. Their ensuing strike paralyzed Silvertown for three months. Historian and novelist John Tully tells the story of the Silvertown strike in vivid prose. He rescues the uprising—overshadowed by other strikes during this period—from relative obscurity and argues for its significance to both the labor and socialist movements. … | more |

"This book shows what it takes to defend democracy, workers rights, and social justice unionism."
—Dolores Huerta

Save Our Unions

Dispatches from A Movement in Distress

Save Our Unions: Dispatches From A Movement in Distress brings together recent essays and reporting by labor journalist Steve Early. The author illuminates the challenges facing U.S. workers, whether they’re trying to democratize their union, win a strike, defend past contract gains, or bargain with management for the first time.… | more |

"A fascinating history of an important historic neighborhood and a provocative analysis of the ways in which interest groups vie for control of urban geography." 
—Tyler Anbinder, author, Five Points

Hell’s Kitchen and the Battle for Urban Space

Class Struggle and Progressive Reform in New York City, 1894-1914

Hell’s Kitchen is among Manhattan’s most storied and studied neighborhoods. A working-class district situated next to the West Side’s middle- and upper-class residential districts, it has long attracted the focus of artists and urban planners, writers and reformers. Now, Joseph Varga takes us on a tour of Hell’s Kitchen with an eye toward what we usually take for granted: space, and, particularly, how urban spaces are produced, controlled, and contested by different class and political forces. … | more |

"Compelling and often spell-binding. This is surely one of the most important contributions to the social justice literature exposing farmworker injustice at all levels."
—Dr. Ann López, Executive Director, Center for Farmworker Families

Lettuce Wars

Ten Years of Work and Struggle in the Fields of California

In 1971, Bruce Neuburger–young, out of work, and radicalized by the 60s counterculture in Berkeley–took a job as a farmworker on a whim. He could have hardly anticipated that he would spend the next decade laboring up and down the agricultural valleys of California, alongside the anonymous and largely immigrant workforce that feeds the nation. Part memoir, part informed commentary on farm labor, the U.S. labor movement, and the political economy of agriculture, Lettuce Wars is a lively account written from the perspective of the fields. … | more |

Wisconsin Uprising

Wisconsin Uprising

Labor Fights Back

In early 2011, the nation was stunned to watch Wisconsin’s state capitol in Madison came under sudden and unexpected occupation by union members and their allies. The protests to defend collective bargaining rights were militant and practically unheard of in this era of declining union power. This timely book brings together some of the best labor journalists and scholars in the United States, many of whom were on the ground at the time, to examine the causes and impact of events, and suggest how the labor movement might proceed.… | more |

The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism

The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism

How Market Tyranny Stifles the Economy by Stunting Workers

Mainstream, or more formally, neoclassical, economics claims to be a science. But as Michael Perelman makes clear in his latest book, nothing could be further from the truth. While a science must be rooted in material reality, mainstream economics ignores or distorts the most fundamental aspect of this reality: that the vast majority of people must, out of necessity, labor on behalf of others, transformed into nothing but a means to the end of maximum profits for their employers. The nature of the work we do and the conditions under which we do it profoundly shape our lives. And yet, both of these factors are peripheral to mainstream economics.… | more |

Embedded with Organized Labor

Embedded with Organized Labor

Journalistic Reflections on the Class War at Home

Embedded With Organized Labor describes how union members have organized successfully, on the job and in the community, in the face of employer opposition now and in the past. The author has produced a provocative series of essays—an unusual exercise in “participatory labor journalism” useful to any reader concerned about social and economic justice. As workers struggle to survive and the labor movement tries to revive during the current economic crisis, this book provides ideas and inspiration for union activists and friends of labor alike.… | more |

Why Unions Matter: Second Edition

Why Unions Matter: Second Edition

10th Anniversary Update

In this new edition of Why Unions Matter, Michael D. Yates shows why unions still matter. Unions mean better pay, benefits, and working conditions for their members; they force employers to treat employees with dignity and respect; and at their best, they provide a way for workers to make society both more democratic and egalitarian. Yates uses simple language, clear data, and engaging examples to show why workers need unions, how unions are formed, how they operate, how collective bargaining works, the role of unions in politics, and what unions have done to bring workers together across the divides of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.… | more |

On The Global Waterfront

On The Global Waterfront

The Fight To Free The Charleston 5

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.… | more |

Reclaiming the Ivory Tower

Reclaiming the Ivory Tower

Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education

In the last twenty years, higher education in the United States has been eroded by massive reliance on temporary academic labor—professors without tenure or the prospect of tenure, paid a fraction of the salaries of their tenured colleagues, working without benefits, offices, or research assistance, and often commuting between several campuses to make ends meet. Contingent instructors now constitute the majority of faculty at U.S. colleges and universities.… | more |

Windows on the Workplace

Windows on the Workplace

Technology, Jobs, and the Organization of Office Work

In this eye-opening book, Joan Greenbaum tells the story of changes in management policies, work organization, and the design of office information systems from the 1950s to the present. Windows on the Workplace takes us behind the news stories of the highly efficient, high-tech workplace and shows us the ways in which technologies—computers, mobile phones, the internet—have been adapted by management to reshape the way work is done. In tracing the introduction of new technologies, Greenbaum reveals how organizations use them to benefit from both increased profits and more intense control over the workforce.… | more |