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University of Illinois Press
Staley: The Fight for a New American Labor Movement

Staley: The Fight for a New American Labor Movement

by Steven K. Ashby, C. J. Hawking
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This on-the-ground labor history focuses on the bitterly contested labor conflict in the early 1990s at the A. E. Staley corn processing plant in Decatur, Illinois, where workers waged one of the most hard-fought struggles in recent labor history. Originally family-owned, A. E. Staley was bought out by the multinational conglomerate Tate & Lyle, which immediately launched a full-scale assault on its union workforce. Allied Industrial Workers Local 837 responded by educating and mobilizing its members, organizing strong support from the religious and black communities, building a national and international solidarity movement, and engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience at the plant gates.

Drawing on seventy-five interviews, videotapes of every union meeting, and their own active involvement organizing with the Staley workers, Steven K. Ashby and C. J. Hawking bring the workers' voices to the fore and reveal their innovative tactics, such as work-to-rule and solidarity committees, that inform and strengthen today's labor movement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780252076404
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 03/13/2009
Series: Working Class in American History Series
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Steven K. Ashby is an associate clinical professor in the Chicago Labor Education Program in the School of Labor and Employment Relations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. C. J. Hawking is a United Methodist pastor and the executive director of the faith-based workers' rights group Chicago Arise.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Prologue: Jim Beals 1

1 The Company and the Union 7

2 Tate & Lyle Comes to Decatur 19

3 The Union Prepares to Resist 27

4 Work-to-Rule 45

5 The Temperature Rises 58

6 Locked Out 74

7 Road Warriors and Solidarity Committees 94

8 Debating the Corporate Campaign 112

9 Peacetime Soldiers and Wartime Soldiers 124

10 God as Outside Agitator 137

11 The African American Workers 151

12 Civil Disobedience 169

13 Strike City, USA 194

14 The Paperworkers 212

15 Mission to Bal Harbour 225

16 Still in the Fight 237

17 In the Fast Lane 247

18 Showdown 261

19 Aftermath 278

20 A Winnable Fight 290

Appendix: Sources 303

Notes 307

Glossary 343

Index 347

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