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American Labor Unions in the Electoral Arena by Herbert B. Asher, Eric S. Heberlig, Randall B. Ripley

By Herbert B. Asher, Eric S. Heberlig, Randall B. Ripley

Are modern U.S. hard work unions inappropriate, or in truth a altering strength to be reckoned with as they develop right into a new financial system in a globalized the US? Is the present political strength exercised by way of U.S. exertions unions extra comparable to the social events of the sixties or the curiosity politics of the nineties? After profitable the presidency of the AFL-CIO in 1995, John Sweeney and his colleagues have taken strides to make exertions extra very important within the usa economically and politically, regardless of decreased club. right here, 4 authors come jointly to survey the prestige of work unions previous, current, and destiny, nationally in addition to during the microcosm of the exertions state of affairs in Ohio, one of many biggest, such a lot consultant, and so much electorally major states within the country.
The authors concentrate on union club, management, political attitudes, concepts, and grassroots mobilization to color an image of union revitalization in a context of financial and social swap. American hard work nonetheless wields clout on Election Day, yet union revitalization is a piece in growth. For unions to subject on a daily basis to their participants and leaders, they have to consolidate their fiscal bases and upward push to the demanding situations rigorously documented during this publication.

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American Labor Unions in the Electoral Arena

Are modern U. S. exertions unions beside the point, or actually a altering strength to be reckoned with as they develop right into a new economic climate in a globalized the United States? Is the present political energy exercised by means of U. S. exertions unions extra such as the social events of the sixties or the curiosity politics of the nineties?

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Sweeney appeared to be the candidate most likely to make significant changes. His bottom-line assessment of organized labor was unsparing: ‘‘The problem with the American labor movement, the problem with unions, is that we are irrelevant to the vast majority of unorganized workers in our country. And I have deep suspicions that we are becoming irrelevant to many of our own members” (quoted in Victor 1995a). “I believe that unless we make some drastic changes, membership is going to continue to decline, and we are going to be less of a political force in this country” (quoted in Victor 1995b, 2523).

These interviews were a vital source of qualitative data for the book. His dissertation research led directly to the analysis in chapter 6. Even more important, he went well beyond his dissertation with his major analytical and writing contributions to the other core empirical chapters. He kept the other three authors on track and on time and was the driving force in converting what began as a vague publishing strategy into a book project. Our debts are many. Alas, we must follow the convention of thanking people without getting to blame them for any shortcomings in the book.

COPE was grafted onto the general union structure. Since the international unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO have considerable autonomy, this means that the political operations of the international unions also retained considerable autonomy. Through their own PACs, internationals choose whether to offer the same candidate endorsements as COPE, how much money to donate to COPE, and whether to coordinate political activities with COPE, undertake their own activities, or simply be politically Page 12 inactive.

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