Yates, an economics professor and labor educator whose earlier books focused on workers legal rights (Power on the Job, South End, 1994), here seeks to cover a much broader canvas: how labor unions work, the victories they have won on the battlefields of sexism and racism, and an argument for unions as the sole means by which working people can obtain dignity, equity, and power. Written in a personal, anecdotal style, yet well documented, this book is particularly successful in the chapters that focus on the nuts and bolts of union activities (collective bargaining, structures, organizing), an area largely ignored by current business and political literature. For this reason alone it is a valuable addition to large public and academic libraries.Donna L. Schulman, Cornell Univ. Libs., Ithaca, NY
Uses statistics and analysis to prove that unionized workers in every part of the economy get more pay and better benefits than employees who do comparable work but do not belong to a union. Argues that unions' power to inspire dignity and solidarity in workers is just as significant as their material gains, and calls for a more independent and politically progressive labor movement. Provides advice on what makes a collective bargaining campaign effective and what approach unions should take in electoral politics. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
"A comprehensive, readable introduction to the history, structure, functioning, and yes, the problems of United States unions. For labor and political activists just coming on the scene or veterans looking for that missing overview, this is the best place to start."
-—Kim Moody,founder of Labor Notes, author of Workers in a Lean World and U.S. Labor in Trouble and Transition