Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: How Wildcat Strikes Made Public Worker Unions Grow and Thrive

Labor Notes
November 12th, 2014


Joe Burns’ latest book examines the little-known wave of wildcat strikes that swept the U.S. (and the world) during the 1960 and ’70s, reshaping the labor movement.
In his previous book, Reviving the Strike, Burns, a former AFSCME negotiator and labor lawyer, made an argument that unions ignore at our peril: we won’t recover our power until we challenge unjust labor laws, abandon unconditional support for the Democrats, and embrace self-organization and the strike.
His extremely accessible new book, Strike Back, shows how unionists did exactly that, right here and not so long ago. From the mid-1950s to the mid-’70s, the number of public workers who belonged to unions grew tenfold, reaching 40 percent of all U.S. public employees.
It was small groups of militant workers who made this explosive growth possible—by defying the law and their union leaders (if they even had a union) to go out on unsanctioned strikes.


Joe Burns’ latest book examines the little-known wave of wildcat strikes that swept the U.S. (and the world) during the 1960 and ’70s, reshaping the labor movement.
In his previous book, Reviving the Strike, Burns, a former AFSCME negotiator and labor lawyer, made an argument that unions ignore at our peril: we won’t recover our power until we challenge unjust labor laws, abandon unconditional support for the Democrats, and embrace self-organization and the strike.
His extremely accessible new book, Strike Back, shows how unionists did exactly that, right here and not so long ago. From the mid-1950s to the mid-’70s, the number of public workers who belonged to unions grew tenfold, reaching 40 percent of all U.S. public employees.
It was small groups of militant workers who made this explosive growth possible—by defying the law and their union leaders (if they even had a union) to go out on unsanctioned strikes.
- See more at: http://www.labornotes.org/blogs/2014/11/review-how-wildcat-strikes-made-public-worker-unions-grow-and-thrive#sthash.ZMtbIm5V.dpuf

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