Labor Pains Inside America's New Union Movement
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: New York Univ Pr
- Publish date: 10/01/2001
- ISBN: 9781583670576
- ISBN10: 1583670572
The role of the unions is defined mainly by larger economic and political agendas. While keeping these agendas clearly in sight, Erem focuses primarily on aspects of the life of the union which often remain hidden. The personal crises of union members become entangled in the work of the union. The energies of the union are focused not only on winning gains from bosses but also on maintaining internal cohesion and morale among workers. Barriers of race, age and gender are constantly negotiated and overcome, and conflicts flare up across them at moments of tension. And union life goes on not only when the workers have made their point, or won a victory, but after defeat as well. The personalities and ambitions of union organizers converge at times and become a source of tension at others.
While never underestimating the obstacles in the way of the union movement, she makes a powerful and passionate case for organizing the disorganized and empowering the powerless.