In the '50s and '60s, he directed organizing with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers and the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers. In 1963, he coordinated the labor participation for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Ten years later, the publication of his book False Promises: The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness was a landmark in the study of the US working-class and workers' movements.
Aronowitz draws on this long personal history, reflecting on his continuing involvement in labor organizing, with groups such as the Professional Staff Congress of the City University. He brings a historian's understanding of American workers' struggles in taking the long view of the labor movement. Then, in a survey of current initiatives, strikes, organizations, and allies, Aronowitz analyzes the possibilities of labor's rebirth, and sets out a program for a new, broad, radical workers' movement.
What is it like to do the back-breaking work of immigrants? To find out, Gabriel Thompson spent a year working alongside Latino immigrants, who initially thought he was either crazy or an undercover immigration agent. He stooped over lettuce fields in Arizona, and worked the graveyard shift at a chicken slaughterhouse in rural Alabama. He dodged taxis -- not always successfully -- as a bicycle delivery "boy" for an upscale Manhattan restaurant, and was fired from a flower shop by a boss who, he quickly realized, was nuts.As one coworker explained, "These jobs make you old quick." Back spasms occasionally keep Thompson in bed, where he suffers recurring nightmares involving iceberg lettuce and chicken carcasses. Combining personal narrative with investigative reporting, Thompson shines a bright light on the underside of the American economy, exposing harsh working conditions, union busting, and lax government enforcement -- while telling the stories of workers, undocumented immigrants, and desperate US citizens alike, forced to live with chronic pain in the pursuit of 8 an hour.
Class War, USA is a rich collection of stories about ordinary people who resisted oppression and exploitation against all odds. Brandon Weber's succinct and vivid essays capture crucial moments of struggle when working-class people built movements of hope and defiance. Evocative imagery, archival photographs, and descriptive text make history come alive in these pages.
From the mines to the factories to the fields, Weber shares the experiences of the real-life men and women who organized, heroically resisted, and battled the bosses and corrupt politicians. In the spirit of A People's History of the United States, this book conveys engaging and accessible narratives of ordinary people who led labor struggles that have indelibly shaped American history.
Essays include vivid accounts of resistance in the workplace like the Ludlow miner's strike and organizing at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, as well as broader pieces on cultural figures like Woody Guthrie, Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK, and the fight for the eight-hour day.
An invaluable tool for learning the lessons of grassroots struggle, Class War, USA is the perfect counter-narrative to the myth that change comes only from the top, and will appeal to students of history and labor activists alike.
Brandon Weber has written for The Progressive, Upworthy, Big Think, and many other online publications, and has been a union activist for over 30 years. His has also written for The Progressive Magazine, Common Dreams, Good.Is and Liberals Unite.
From one of America's foremost economic and political thinkers comes a vital analysis of our new hypercompetitive and turbo-charged global economy and the effect it is having on American democracy. With his customary wit and insight, Reich shows how widening inequality of income and wealth, heightened job insecurity, and corporate corruption are merely the logical results of a system in which politicians are more beholden to the influence of business lobbyists than to the voters who elected them. Powerful and thought-provoking, Supercapitalism argues that a clear separation of politics and capitalism will foster an enviroment in which both business and government thrive, by putting capitalism in the service of democracy, and not the other way around.
On a spring day in 1961, over-the-road trucker Jim Harper was en route from Mauston, Wisconsin, to his home in Minneapolis. At 70 miles per hour, with a combined 60,000 pounds of man, machine, and material, he approached a curve along the Great River Road and hit the brakes. The tractor-trailer didn't slow. Harper's brake lines had been cut.
In preceding months, Harper had led an insurgency in his Teamsters' Local 544 to clean up corruption among its leaders. His efforts drew the attention of none other than Jimmy Hoffa, at the time focused on securing his right to lead the national Teamsters organization without government intervention.
Jim Harper had his reasons for confronting his local's leadership--a hardscrabble childhood and a stint in Angola prison had left him seeking redemption, and Jimmy Hoffa had publicly called for union reform. But Hoffa, under federal investigation for questionable financial dealings, had deep, dark secrets; the last thing he needed was a spotlight on Minneapolis. Despite the increasing threats to his life and those of his young family, Harper continued to press his case.
In this fascinating account, Harper's son traces the interwoven paths of these two men--a criminal icon and a determined vigilante--from their formative years through their unbelievable face-off.
Accolades for Crossing Hoffa:
Best Books of 2007, Chicago Tribune
Best Books, 2008 New York Book Festival
"Honorable Mention" in the 2008 Hollywood Book Festival's Biography/Autobiography category.
" Bananeras] is a vital accounting of the struggles still being waged."--Margaret Randall, author of When I Look Into the Mirror and See You: Women, Terror, and Resistance
Women banana workers have organized themselves and gained increasing control over their unions, their workplaces, and their lives. Highly accessible and narrative in style, Bananeras recounts the history and growth of this vital movement and shows how Latin American woman workers are shaping and broadly reimagining the possibilities of international labor solidarity.
Dana Frank is a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the author of the award-winning Buy American: The Untold Story of Economic Nationalism.
China has been the fastest growing major economy in the world for three decades. It is also home to some of the largest, most incendiary, and most underreported labor struggles of our time. China on Strike, the first English-language book of its kind, provides an intimate and revealing window into the lives of workers organizing in some of China's most profitable factories, which supply Apple, Nike, Hewlett Packard, and other multinational companies. Drawing on dozens of interviews with Chinese workers, this book documents the processes of migration, changing employment relations, worker culture, and other issues related to China's explosive growth.