An investigation into the little-known history of relations between organized labor and philanthropic foundations in America, this book reveals curious connections linking these important institutions throughout the twentieth century. Richard Magat examines these relations--whether indirect or direct, confrontational, supportive, or collaborative--in a wide variety of areas: research, the condition and status of black and female workers, the struggle of farmworkers, workplace health and safety, the union democracy movement, and the stake of union members in the global marketplace.
Unlikely Partners begins with the industrial and social ferment in which the great modern foundations arose in the early twentieth century. It covers such topics as the Russell Sage Foundation (the first to address labor conditions), the National Civic Federation, and manifestations of "enlightened" business practice, including welfare capitalism. The book lays out areas of future community, fiscal, and policy collaboration between unions and foundations.