IntroductionChapter 1 - The Evolution of Labor Unions The Early Years The Knights of Labor The American Federation of Labor Confrontations with Employers The Industrial Workers of the World and Revolutionary Unionism Union Decline and Resurgence During the Years Between the Wars Union Solidarity and Power The Erosion of the Labor Accord The Rise of Public Sector Unionism The Search for Union RevivalChapter 2 - Union Structure and Growth National and Unions Union Locals and Intermediate Bodies The Labor Federation Union Jurisdiction Union Mergers Union Membership and Decline The Causes of Union Growth and Decline How Unions OrganizeChapter 3 - Union Government and Administration The Union Constitution Union Conventions Union officers and Governing Bodies Local Union Government Union Democracy Corruption in Unions Unions and Information Technology Union EffectivenessChapter 4 - The Union as Bargaining Agent The Fundamentals of Bargaining Collective Bargaining Structure Collective Bargaining Agreements The Return of Concessionary Bargaining The Decline of the StrikeChapter 5 - Unions in Politics Union Political Action Union Political Campaigns Living Wages Labor Law Reform Two Campaigns in California Shopping Wal-MartChapter 6 - Union Revival Organizing Collective Bargaining Political Action Changing the Unions' Mission and SturctureChapter 7 -- The Unions of the Future Retreat ReboundAppendix: Selective Bibliography and Industrial Relations Websites
In the summer of 2014, the international news media focused on a workers' dispute at Market Basket, a New England grocery chain. For two months, twenty-five thousand workers at the company's seventy-one stores and three warehouses had walked off their jobs, and customers helped them with a store-wide boycott. What captured international attention more than anything else was that this was the oddest "strike" ever (if it was even a strike at all); the workers, who were non-union, had left their jobs with only a single non-negotiable demand in mind-to have their boss, Arthur T. Demoulas, reinstated after he was fired as the company CEO by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas. But the Market Basket dispute was much more than a family feud, a board room intrigue or an impasse in negotiations. The dispute was all about the non-union workers' struggle for what they saw as a 21st-century business plan under which the company would be high wage, low-price, high product variety and strongly customer-oriented-all this under the leadership of Arthur T. The only alternative was for the company to be continued to be led by Arthur S., Arthur T.'s cousin, and be concerned, first and foremost, with pleasing the stockholders by lowering operating costs and raising profits. This case shows how Anya Rzepinska, a lower-level manager at a Market Basket store, and her fellow workers took a tremendous risk by walking off jobs that paid so well and promised so much.
"Chapters in this excellent primer for understanding the background and current challenges facing the US labor movement focus on the historical background, the structure and growth . . and the labor movement's future in a dramatically transformed economy. Especially useful in this brief book are the discussions of unions' political activities and their prospects for revitalization." -- K. Fones-Wolf