Labor in the New Urban Battlegrounds examines a diverse array of innovative strategies for revitalizing the labor movement by forming alliances outside the workplace with a variety of community groups, social movements, and faith-based organizations, particularly those that address civil rights, immigrant rights, and consumer concerns. This book presents case studies of issues—such as living wages, community development corporations, and local politics—around which urban coalitions are built in "union towns" (New York City, Boston, Buffalo, and Seattle), "frontier cities" (Los Angeles, Miami, San Jose, and Nashville), and European cities (London, Frankfurt, and Hamburg).
Introducing the role of urban social context in the field of labor revitalization, the editors have chosen cases with different outcomes—cities in which strong coalitions have enabled new union influence are contrasted with those in which such coalition building has been thwarted. As they survey the successes and failures of the new urban labor movement, the editors and contributors conclude that actor choice, strategic innovation, coalition building, and the urban context of labor organizing are key elements in the revitalization of the labor movement and the renewal of democracy. This book will allow the labor leaders of the future to learn from the recent experiences of their peers throughout the United States and Europe.
"After two decades of neglect, cities are once again a hot topic among labor scholars. Labor in the New Urban Battlegrounds is a major contribution to community-centered studies of labor and industrial relations. The book help account for the current focus on metropolitan areas, examines the recent emergence of urban-based social unionism, and presents a framework of analysis that offers guidance to both scholars and practitioners. This book deserves the attention of all who are interested in the prospects of labor movement revitalization."
Charles J. Whalen
Perspectives on Work: The Magazine of the LERA
"As multinational corporations dominate more aspects of our daily lives, it is critical that we develop global strategies for solving local problems. This important new book does just that. By comparing local union organizing campaigns from around the world, this talented group of labor researchers makes a unique contribution to our understanding of the global labor movement."
Bruce Raynor, General President, UNITE HERE!
"Labor in the New Urban Battlegrounds is a richly detailed book that produces important insights into what unions need to consider as they weigh their options, identify allies, and attempt to build social justice infrastructures capable of research and mobilization. The case studies of 'union towns' and 'frontier towns' are especially fascinating and express the importance of urban context and history in concrete terms.... It should be of great interest to labor scholars as well as scholars of community organizing in the U.S. context."
Urban Affairs Review