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The Union Makes Us Strong : Radical Unionism on the San Francisco Waterfront - David T. Wellman

The Union Makes Us Strong

Radical Unionism on the San Francisco Waterfront

Hardcover Published: 3rd August 1995
ISBN: 9780521450058
Number Of Pages: 386

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  • Paperback View Product Published: 2nd February 1998

This book challenges the notion that American labor history is a history of defeated militant unionism. Focusing on the routine work practices and political culture of San Francisco's longshore union, it argues that collective bargaining does not eliminate contests over shopfloor control. The collectively bargained contract is shown to be a bargain that reflects and reproduces fundamental disagreement between management and labor. It creates the parameters within which production and conflict proceed.

Industry Reviews

"A sociologist blends history, interviews, and analysis into the best description and appraisal yet written about the strengths, traditions and problems of the ILWU on the waterfront since the 1930s." Dispatcher "Wellman's provocative thesis and highly imaginative analysis...offer new models for the assessment of the history and present practice of all CIO unions." Michigan Historical Review "...the best book written about what it has meant to be a longshore worker in the International Longshoremen's & Warehousemen's Union over the past fifty years." Labor Studies Journal "Wellman's evidence and conclusions have broad significance." Industrial and Labor Relations Review "His insights into worker behavior and workplace culture should cause us to rethink many of our assumptions about both union practices and labor-management relations." Contemporary Sociology "...an engaging ethnographic portrait...readers will appreciate this rare and vivid glimpse into the culture, language, and routines of longshoremen." Choice "To put it simply, this is the best book yet written about what it has meant to be a longshore worker in the ILWU over the past fifty years." Eugene Dennis Vrana, The Dispatcher "...Wellman concludes that waterfront trade unionism is alive and well. Moreover, he offers insights into the character of the American worker and the dynamics of the workplace and suggests that this country's service sector is poised for a surge of union organizing." Jennifer McNulty, Currents "...The Union Makes Us Strong provides an important model--and benchmark--for all future labor studies...Anyone concerned about the American labor movement will find much of interest in this often fascinating, and surprisingly lively, read." Geoffrey Dunn, San Jose Metro "Wellman writes in a clear and concise style and his descriptions of the union hall meetings and workplace culture are a joy to read. The author is sensitive to the language and physical communication among the longshoremen, and whenever possible he allows the workers to speak for themselves. He also offers some rare and detailed insights into the present-day conflicts of the maritime industry and everyday class struggle in the workplace." John F. Lyons, Science & Society

Notes on unpublished sources
Labour Radicalism Revisited
Unsettling old scores: labour radicalism encounters conventional wisdom
Sealing the fate of radical labour theoretically
A framework for American unionism
Local Community and 'Tumultuous' Democracy: the Socio-Cultural Foundations of Unionism on the San Francisco Waterfront
Political community on the San Francisco waterfront
The structure of participationist politics
Being political in Local 10
Unionism, Work and Technological Change
Work, knowledge and control: conventional longshoring
Work, knowledge and control: containerised longshoring
'Doing the right thing': working principles and codes of conduct
Waging the Battle for Workplace Control on Contractual Terrain
Who decides how to work?
Which side's language shall govern?
By whose principles will merit be rewarded?
Agreeing to Disagree: Being Defensibly Disobedient
Translating troubles into grievable issues
'We essentially have no contract with you': keeping the agreement
Constructing and maintaining the appearance of co-operation
Conclusion: Trade union exceptionalism or prefigurative politics?
Appendix: doing field research - an ethnographic account
Name index
Subject Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521450058
ISBN-10: 0521450055
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 386
Published: 3rd August 1995
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.55 x 16.08  x 3.4
Weight (kg): 0.64

Earn 503 Qantas Points
on this Book