Success While Others Fail: Social Movement Unionism and the Public Workplace

Overview

Success While Others Fail presents four case studies, two in local government and two in the private sector, all set in California in the 1970s and 1980s. Each work force studied engaged in some form of what Johnston terms "social movement unionism," including the first strikes for comporable worth and an early "Justice for Janitors" campaign. He shows that, in each case, success depended on factors related to the sectoral context and also on the appropriateness of the particular models of unionism employed by ...
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Overview

Success While Others Fail presents four case studies, two in local government and two in the private sector, all set in California in the 1970s and 1980s. Each work force studied engaged in some form of what Johnston terms "social movement unionism," including the first strikes for comporable worth and an early "Justice for Janitors" campaign. He shows that, in each case, success depended on factors related to the sectoral context and also on the appropriateness of the particular models of unionism employed by workers and their unions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A major breakthrough in industrial relations theory, this fiercely original book will turn most thinking about union strategy on its head, by demonstrating that there really are different logics to union success in the public and private sector. . . .One of the very few books on American uionism that incorporates the broad range of social scientific theories developed in the 1970s and 1980s."—Samuel Cohn, Texas A&M University
Booknews
Johnston (sociology, Yale) argues that, as employees of public organizations, public workers may play a decisive role in US history: if isolated, they may serve as scapegoats for right-wing assaults on the welfare state; if they build coalitions around their work, they may serve as powerful advocates for public needs. Johnston tells the story of four groups of workers, evaluating different models of unionism in terms of their promise for future success. Paper edition (335-5), $18.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875463346
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/1995
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 6.29 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 "The Richness of Its Possibilities" 3
Two Labor Movements? 4
Peculiarities of the Public Workers' Movement 11
Locating the Public Workers' Movement in History 14
Strategy and Structure of This Book 18
Social Research and the Public Workers' Movement 22
2 Inside the Public Workers' Movement 33
"Testing Ground" in San Francisco 34
The Observer as Chastened Participant 48
3 The Women of the City 55
The Mobilization of the Women 59
Making Demands on Public Organization 70
Wielding Power in Public Organization 78
4 Beyond Industrial Relations: Gender and the City in Silicon Valley 88
Employee Associations and the Appearance of Union Growth 90
Amending Urban Sociology 93
From "Garden Valley" to "Silicon Valley" 96
Challenging the Old Regime 104
One Movement on Two Fronts 111
5 The Nurses of the Valley 113
The Nurses and Their Union 117
The Strike Context 119
Emergence - and Mutation - of the Claim to Comparable Worth 125
The Nurses' Strike for Comparable Worth 130
Nurse Burnout and Comparable Worth 138
Autonomy, Ambivalence, and the Burden of Care 139
The Feminist Impulse and the Sectoral Difference 143
6 The Custodians of the Valley 146
The Custodians of the City 147
The Private Sector Custodians of the Valley 158
The Future of Private Sector Unionism 170
Case Comparisons: Two Logics of Change 171
7 The Nurses of the City 175
Regime and Antiregime in San Francisco 177
Public Service Unionism in the Health Department 193
Case Comparisons: Contrary Patterns of Development 202
A Thought Experiment 205
8 Conclusions and Implications 208
Enacting the Public Agenda 209
An Unfinished Learning Process 223
Appendix: Salary Standardization and Comparable Worth 226
The Emergence of Administrative Justice 226
Salary Standardization 228
The Secret Politics of Public Personnel Systems 229
Internal Adjustments 231
Comparable Worth as the Ultimate Internal Adjustment 232
Reference 235
Author Index 253
Subject Index 257
About the Author 264
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