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Unions in America

Unions in America

First Edition

February 2006 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Unions in America provides a concise and current introduction to what America's labor unions do and why they do it. In this engaging text, author Gary Chaison portrays America's unions as complex, self-governing organizations that are struggling to regain their lost membership, bargaining power, and political influence. This accessible textbook offers an impartial overview of American unions that ranges from the struggle for recognition from employers in their earliest years to their present-day difficulties.

Key Features:

- Provides a clear and unbiased view of unions, to present readers with an impartial perspective

- Offers readers a current assessment of unions with recent examples and descriptions of emerging or continuing trends in organizing, collective bargaining, and political action

- Provides a concise overview of unions that introduces readers to fundamental union activities without overwhelming them with too many details about alternative process, outcomes, and legal issues

- Covers a wide-range of important topics such as the evolution of unions; union structure and growth; union government and administration; the union as bargaining agent; union political activities; proposals for union revival, and insight on the future of unions

Unions in America is an excellent text for undergraduate and graduate students studying unions and labor relations in a variety of fields including Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management, Economics, and Sociology. It will also be a valuable resource for workers, managers, or anyone else looking for a foundation for understanding the state of unions in America.

Chapter 1 - The Evolution of Labor Unions
The Early Years  
The Knights of Labor  
The American Federation of Labor  
Confrontations with Employers  
The Industrial Workers of the World and Revolutionary Unionism  
Union Decline and Resurgence During the Years Between the Wars  
Union Solidarity and Power  
The Erosion of the Labor Accord  
The Rise of Public Sector Unionism  
The Search for Union Revival  
Chapter 2 - Union Structure and Growth
National and Unions  
Union Locals and Intermediate Bodies  
The Labor Federation  
Union Jurisdiction  
Union Mergers  
Union Membership and Decline  
The Causes of Union Growth and Decline  
How Unions Organize  
Chapter 3 - Union Government and Administration
The Union Constitution  
Union Conventions  
Union officers and Governing Bodies  
Local Union Government  
Union Democracy  
Corruption in Unions  
Unions and Information Technology  
Union Effectiveness  
Chapter 4 - The Union as Bargaining Agent
The Fundamentals of Bargaining  
Collective Bargaining Structure  
Collective Bargaining Agreements  
The Return of Concessionary Bargaining  
The Decline of the Strike  
Chapter 5 - Unions in Politics
Union Political Action  
Union Political Campaigns  
Living Wages  
Labor Law Reform  
Two Campaigns in California  
Shopping Wal-Mart  
Chapter 6 - Union Revival
Collective Bargaining  
Political Action  
Changing the Unions' Mission and Sturcture  
Chapter 7 -- The Unions of the Future
Appendix: Selective Bibliography and Industrial Relations Websites

"Chapters in this excellent primer for understanding the background and current challenges facing the US labor movement focus on the historical background, the structure and growth . .  and the labor movement's future in a dramatically transformed economy. Especially useful in this brief book are the discussions of unions' political activities and their prospects for revitalization."                   

K. Fones-Wolf
West Virginia University

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ISBN: 9780761930341
ISBN: 9781412926713

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