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Unions in America
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Unions in America provides a concise and current introduction to what America's labor unions do and why they do it. In this engaging text, author Gary Chaison portrays America's unions as complex, self-governing organizations that are struggling to regain their lost membership, bargaining power, and political influence. This accessible textbook offers an impartial overview of American unions that ranges from the struggle for recognition from employers in their earliest years to their present-day difficulties. Key Features: - Provides a clear and unbiased view of unions, to present readers with an impartial perspective - Offers readers a current assessment of unions with recent examples and descriptions of emerging or continuing trends in organizing, collective bargaining, and political action - Provides a concise overview of unions that introduces readers to fundamental union activities without overwhelming them with too many details about alternative process, outcomes, and legal issues - Covers a wide-range of important topics such as the evolution of unions; union structure and growth; union government and administration; the union as bargaining agent; union political activities; proposals for union revival, and insight on the future of unions Unions in America is an excellent text for undergraduate and graduate students studying unions and labor relations in a variety of fields including Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management, Economics, and Sociology. It will also be a valuable resource for workers, managers, or anyone else looking for a foundation for understanding the state of unions in America.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 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 Revival Chapter 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 Organize Chapter 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 Effectiveness Chapter 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 Strike Chapter 5 - Unions in Politics Union Political Action Union Political Campaigns Living Wages Labor Law Reform Two Campaigns in California Shopping Wal-Mart Chapter 6 - Union Revival Organizing Collective Bargaining Political Action Changing the Unions' Mission and Sturcture Chapter 7 -- The Unions of the Future Retreat Rebound Appendix: Selective Bibliography and Industrial Relations Websites

About the Author

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.

Reviews

"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

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