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What are Unions About? What is your image of a union leader? Unions in your minds
Voss and Fantasia“Relational Analysis” Material Conditions: The System of Rules Governing Unions The Balance of Power between Workers and Employers Symbolic: The Place of Unions in the Public Imagination “Special Interest” or “Social Justice” Consumer or Worker Type of Person: Bureaucrat, Strongman, Militant
Business/Push Button Unionism • Material • Negotiation and Enforcement of Long-Term Contracts • Grievance resolution based on legalistic contract language • Focus on servicing existing union membership -- Cooperative relationship with employers -- Distance from the Rank and File -- Antiradicalism Type of Person: Bureaucrat or Strongman Symbolic Unions as “special interests”
Labor and the Cold War • Funded by USIA USAID • American Institute for Free labor Development in Latin America (AIFLD), Asia-American Free Labor Institute • African American Labor Center. • 1983 National Endowment for Democracy • Labor, Business, Republican and Democratic Parties • In the 1980s, roughly half of the AFL-CIO’s budget came from the state department.
Intervention • Guatemala 1954 • Chile 1973 • Central America 1980s • Kissinger-Kirkland • South Africa Buthelezi, • Attempts to undercut anti apartheid Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the rest of the liberation movement. • Solidarity Poland • Support for conservative, sometimes pro-business unions • Attempts to undercut their more leftist rivals
What happened? • Employee Based Welfare State • Globalization • Corporate Counter Attack
The unsustainability of the private welfare state: Healthcare cost per vehicle
Globalization • U.S.--from 1950-1990 • international trade went from 9% to 25% of U.S. GNP • Foreign Direct Investment from 5% of U.S. GDP in 1970 to 30% in 2000
10,000 Pontiac LeMans Early 1990s • 3,000 to South Korea for labor and assembly • 1,750 to Japan for advanced components • 750 to Germany for styling and design engineering • 400 to Taiwan for “small components” • 250 to Britain for advertising and marketing services • 50 to Ireland and Barbados for data processing • Leaving about 3,800 to U.S inputs
Impact of Globalization • Exit and Threat of Exit Maytag Galesburg Heightened competition • Investors finally got news from Maytag that they can cheer today: The home appliance maker said it was going to close a facility in Galesburg Illinois and lay off 1,600 workers, or about 8% of its total staff. • The announcement sent shares of Maytag soaring by more than 7%. What Wall Street liked is that Maytag is finally moving its production to a low cost country....
Corporate Counterattack • Number of Decertification Elections • 1969 293 • 1975 516 • 1983 922 • Number of Labor Violations • 1970 10,000 • 1975 16,000 • 1982 32,000 • Number Fired for Union Activity • 1970 8,000 • 1975 11,000 • 1982 18,000
Social Movement Unionism • 1. Organize from the bottom up • 2. Rely on Corporate Campaigns • 3. Willing to look beyond routine NLRB path to recognition • 4. Strong Orientation to Social Justice • 5. Creative and Innovative in Style • 6. “Self-Expanding” Sees actions as part of a long term process • What might this mean in practice? You are trying to organize janitors…