Taking Care of Business : Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland and the Tragedy of American Labor

Taking Care of Business : Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland and the Tragedy of American Labor

Description

In this history of "business unionism", Paul Buhle and Julius Jacobson explain how trade union leaders in the USA became remote from the workers they claimed to represent, as they allied with the very corporate executives and government officials who persistently opposed labour's interests. At the centre of the tale are three of the most powerful labour leaders of the last century: Samuel Gompers, George Meany and Lane Kirkland, successive presidents of the Federation of Labor and its descendent, the AFL-CIO. Many other labour leaders, from John L. Lewis to Walter Reuther receive in-depth treatment. This work demonstrates how a union hierarchy heavily populated by former radicals thwarted women and people of colour from joining unions, suppressed shop floor militance, and colluded with business and government at home and abroad. Buhle and Jacobson show how these leaders defeated generations of radical union members who sought a more democratic, class-based approach for the movement. The book explains why policies and practices at the highest levels of labour came to be counter-productive to workers' interests - a pattern the authors speculate may have been disrupted by the 1995 election of John Sweeney's "New Slate" in the AFL-CIO.

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Details

Author(s)
Paul Buhle, Julius Jacobson
Format
Paperback | 224 pages
Dimensions
154.43 x 230 x 24.64mm | 403.7g
Publication date
07 Oct 1999
Publisher
Monthly Review Press,U.S.
Publication City/Country
New York, United States
Language
English
Edition Statement
Revised and Upd
Illustrations note
5 b&w photographs
ISBN10
1583670033
ISBN13
9781583670033