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Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality

Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality

Available for the first time in paperback, Meatpackers provides an important window into race and racism in the American workplace. In their own words, male and female packinghouse workers in the Midwest—mostly African-American—talk of their experiences on the shop floor and picket lines. They tell of their fight between the 1930s and 1960s for economic advancement and racial equality. In cities like Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Fort Worth, and Waterloo, Iowa, meatpackers built a union that would defend their interests as workers—and their civil rights. | more…

Rising from the Ashes? Labor in the Age of "Global" Capitalism

Rising from the Ashes? Labor in the Age of “Global” Capitalism

Big changes in the global economy and world politics have put new questions on the table for labor movements around the world. Can workers regain the initiative against the tidal wave of corporate downsizing and government cutbacks? Can unions revive their ranks and reignite the public imagination? Is labor rising from the ashes? | more…

A New Labor Movement for a New Century

A New Labor Movement for a New Century

“Labor has finally awakened from a long, deep sleep.” So declared one observer after the victory of John J. Sweeney’s “New Voice” slate in the 1995 contest for leadership of the U.S. trade union federation, the AFL-CIO. Sweeney’s team promised to make organizing its top priority, and new stirrings in labor have brought unprecedented media attention. With a surprisingly popular and victorious nationwide strike at United Parcel Service in 1997, hopes have risen for a new labor movement. | more…

Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs: Employment and Unemployment in the United States

Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs: Employment and Unemployment in the United States

Millions unemployed… fewer people working harder for less pay and shrinking benefits… the assets of the wealthiest one percent of the population growing as the population below the poverty line swells… the next generation facing an even more bitter future… Why? Most working people cannot answer this question. In this user-friendly book, Michael Yates explains how employment and unemployment are inextricably connected in an economic system where employers are driven by the search for profits. | more…

Rebolusyon: A Generation of Struggle in the Philippines

Rebolusyon: A Generation of Struggle in the Philippines

In 1969, Ferdinand Marcos won a second term as president, in one of the dirtiest campaigns in Philippine history. That same year, Edgar Jopson was elected president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, in a campaign to keep the Communists out of the student movement. Thirteen years later Jopson was gunned down by the military during a raid on an underground safe house. He was by then one of the most wanted people in the country, with a price on his head, a leading Communist Party cadre and member of the urban underground. | more…

The Power in Our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States

The Power in Our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States

This celebrated book provides entertaining, easy-to-use lesson plans for teaching labor history. “Most school teachers are drowned in paper, but here is one book I want to recommend to them. It is a way of getting American teenagers not just interested, but excited and passionate about their history—modern American labor history.” —Pete Seeger | more…

The Politics of U.S. Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal

The Politics of U.S. Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal

The alliance of the industrial labor movement with the Democratic Party under Franklin D. Roosevelt has, perhaps more than any other factor, shaped the course of class relations in the United States over the ensuing forty years. Much has been written on the interests that were thereby served, and those that were co-opted. In this detailed examination of the strategies pursued by both radical labor and the capitalist class in the struggle for industrial unionism, David Milton argues that while radical social change and independent political action were traded off by the industrial working class for economic rights, this was neither automatic nor inevitable. Rather, the outcome was the result of a fierce struggle in which capital fought labor and both fought for control over government labor policy. | more…

Protest and Survive: An Appeal to Americans

Protest and Survive: An Appeal to Americans

Protest and Survive is a powerful gift to the growing American movement from European Nuclear Disarmament (END), which E.P. Thompson helped to found, drafting the mobilizing documents. The book originated as a reaction to “Protect and Survive,” a take-cover pamphlet prepared in 1980 by British civil defense. The volume contains historian E.P. Thompson’s “A Letter to America,” and 11 other essays exploring the arms race, nuclear war, military bureaucracy and the prospects for peacemaking. | more…

Bureaucracy and the Labor Process: The Transformation of U.S. Industry, 1860–1920

Bureaucracy and the Labor Process: The Transformation of U.S. Industry, 1860–1920

This book makes the argument, supported by rich and extensive historical research into original sources, that it is possible to revolutionize work so that it can be, in the author’s words, “satisfying, creative, and stimulating at the same time that it is materially productive: we can have material abundance along with interesting work.” | more…

Nationalism and Socialism: Marxist and Labor Theories of Nationalism to 1917

Nationalism and Socialism: Marxist and Labor Theories of Nationalism to 1917

Nationalism and Socialism is a study in the history of Marxian ideas; but it is also an attempt to show how the ideas are related to the society from which they sprang, and how the changes in social relations were reflected in the emergence of a whole new formulation of nationalist theory. Marx and Engels had perforce to modify their early ideas on nationalism in light of later events, and Lenin revolutionized the whole approach. | more…

The Commitment of the Intellectual

What is an intellectual? The most obvious answer would seem to be: a person working with his intellect, relying for his livelihood (or if he need not worry about such things, for the gratification of his interests) on his brain rather than on his brawn. Yet simple and straightforward as it is, this definition would be generally considered to be quite inadequate. Fitting everyone who is not engaged in physical labor, it clearly does not jibe with the common understanding of the term “intellectual.”… in the public consciousness there exists a different notion encompassing a certain category of people who constitute a narrower stratum than those “working with their brains.” This is not merely a terminological quibble. The existence of these two different concepts rather reflects an actual social condition, the understanding of which can take us a long way towards a better appreciation of the place and the function of the intellectual in society. | more…