Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America

Overview

If the American labor movement is to rise again, it will not be as a result of electing different politicians, the passage of legislation, or improved methods of union organizing. Rather, workers will need to rediscover the power of the strike. Not the ineffectual strike of today, where employees meekly sit on picket lines waiting for scabs to take their jobs, but the type of strike capable of grinding industries to a halt—the kind employed up until the 1960s.

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Overview

If the American labor movement is to rise again, it will not be as a result of electing different politicians, the passage of legislation, or improved methods of union organizing. Rather, workers will need to rediscover the power of the strike. Not the ineffectual strike of today, where employees meekly sit on picket lines waiting for scabs to take their jobs, but the type of strike capable of grinding industries to a halt—the kind employed up until the 1960s.

In Reviving the Strike, labor lawyer Joe Burns draws on economics, history and current analysis in arguing that the labor movement must redevelop an effective strike based on the now outlawed traditional labor tactics of stopping production and workplace-based solidarity. The book challenges the prevailing view that tactics such as organizing workers or amending labor law can save trade unionism in this country. Instead, Reviving the Strike offers a fundamentally different solution to the current labor crisis, showing how collective bargaining backed by a strike capable of inflicting economic harm upon an employer is the only way for workers to break free of the repressive system of labor control that has been imposed upon them by corporations and the government for the past seventy-five years.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Reviving the Strike is a primer for every trade unionist tired of being the victim."--In These Times

"An effective and provocative historical approach to a complex problem: How do working Americans and their unions reverse the decline in living standards and employment security in the global economy?"--Larry Cohen, International President of the Communication Workers of America

"American employers think that the strike is pretty much dead. On our side of the bargaining table, too many unions seem to agree. Joe Burn's new book explains why this traditional tool of worker struggle is still relevant and how it can be used effectively in the 21st century. Reviving The Strike deserves a wide labor audience. Union members should not go into bargaining without it!"--Steve Early, author of The Civil Wars in US Labor.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935439240
  • Publisher: Ig Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,043,728
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Joe Burns is a veteran union negotiator and labor lawyer, and a former local union president. For the past decade, he has negotiated labor contracts in the airline and health care industries. As a former local union president involved in strike solidarity, Burns supported many of the key strikes of the last several decades. He has a law degree from the New York University School of Law.
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Table of Contents

1 The strike And the Rise of the Working Class 11

2 The Turbulents 1930S: Traditional Tactics And the Rise of the Modern Labor Movement 29

3 The Outlawing of Solidarity And the Decline of the strike 47

4 Labour's Failed Search For alternatives To the strike 71

5 Why Organizing Cannot Solve the Labor Crisis 95

6 The system of Labor control 115

7 The Principles of Labor Rights 137

8 Lessons From the Struggle 151

9 Where do We Go From Here? 171

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 30, 2011

    Well researched, and a quick read thats more than worth your time.

    Reviving the Strike will give anyone not familiar with the labor movement the background they need to understand why no one at their factory speaks highly of unions. The book reads as though it was written with the modern factory worker in mind and is laid out in a plain spoken matter that gives no impression of being "dumbed down." Burns provides ample evidence to support his thesis that strikes are what made the labor movement successful historically and are what is needed to make it successful again, regardless of the legal restrictions. If the NLRB hopes to make unions popular once again they should provide this work to employees at every non-union shop they can afford to.

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