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Unions in America

Unions in America

First Edition

November 2005 | 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

Gary Chaison

Gary Chaison is Professor of Industrial Relations at the Graduate School of Management at Clark University. More About Author

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ISBN: 9780761930341

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