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Labor Research Review, Volume 1, Number 20 (1993)

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Labor Research Review, Volume 1, Number 20 (1993)

Building on Diversity: The New Unionism


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 17
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    Home-Made Organizing: CWA's Strategy in the South Relies on the Folks Who Live There
    Oppenheim, Lisa (1993-04-01)
    [Excerpt] The CWA's got some down-home organizing cooking down South. Unlike other organizing in the South where the workforce is either predominantly black or white, CWA's targeted workforce in the public sector is composed of black and white workers. The CWA is not new in the South: there are 160,000 CWA members in the region — nearly one quarter of the union's entire membership — 80% of whom are based in the private sector. How do you organize a local composed of black and white workers in the South? LRR Editor Lisa Oppenheim turned to Marilyn Haith, organizer for CWA's District 3 which is composed of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, and Louisiana.
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    We Are Union Builders Too: Oregon Union Tackles Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation
    Montague, Ann (1993-04-01)
    [Excerpt] Most unionists agree that discrimination is a union issue. Unions have civil rights departments and push legislative agendas, but it's the stewards who are on the front lines every day defending workers against discrimination on the job. But what if the steward speaks or acts in ways which exhibit bigoted attitudes? What does this do to the stewards' overall effectiveness? How can the victim of discrimination be fully represented? How does the steward's behavior reflect upon the union?
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    LRR Focus: Childcare at the S.F. General Mail Facility: Sound Familiar?
    Numbers from the SFGMF Childcare Project Survey
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    "To Hell with you, Charlie": The UAW has a long history of confronting sexual harassment
    Housch Kwanza Collins, Linda (1993-04-01)
    [Excerpt] Possibly no union was better poised to meet the challenge of sexual harassment after Anita Hill's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee than the United Auto Workers. For half a century the UAW has addressed sexual discrimination on the job. This commitment, though wavering at times was sustained by the determined women who worked on the international staff, the strong women on the shop floor who battled second class citizenship, and the civil rights and women's movements that both pressured and supported the union's efforts. Thus, when the nation turned its attention to sexual harassment in 1991, the UAW was ready.
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    LRR Focus: "Do's and Don'ts for Members who are Closeted and Members who are Out."
    {Excerpt} DO confront homophobic jokes and attitudes wherever they strike. Closeted gays have very good hearing. If you let a comment or joke slip by within hearing range you can be assured that your credibility with that worker is destroyed.
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    Organizing for Justice: ILGWU Returns to Social Unionism to Organize Immigrant Workers
    Hermanson, Jeff (1993-04-01)
    [Excerpt] Desperate situations bring forth desperate responses. But garment workers are demonstrating that when educated of their rights and assured of support, they are ready to struggle for justice, even when chances of success seem poor. The ILGWU currently faces many challenges: How do we organize an industry composed of thousands of tiny, subcontractors? How do we build on isolated collective actions to create a groundswell for change in the workers' communities that cannot be ignored? How do we restrict the flight of jobs from unionized communities to nonunion areas, within the U.S. and beyond its borders?
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    LRR Voices:Organizing Immigrant Asian Workers
    Lai, Ho Nhu (1993-04-01)
    Ho Nhu Lai came to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1975 and began work In a food processing plant. He was shop steward for UFCW Local 271 and is now an International Representative for the union's Western Region staff, Ho is also on the Board of Directors of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. He spoke to Labor Research Review on the importance of cultural understanding.
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    Environmental Justice = Social Justice: Southern Organizing Heralds New Movement
    Braden, Anne (1993-04-01)
    [Excerpt] In December 1992, more than 2500 people from the cities, small towns, and countryside of 14 Southern states gathered in New Orleans for a Southern Community-Labor Conference for Environmental Justice. In one sense, the conference was part of a new environmental movement, for that's the issue that fired it. But in another sense, this is a new social justice movement, for it has redefined the term "environmentalism" to include all of the life conditions of a community.
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    This World Called Miami: ACTWU Approaches Union-Building in a Multi-Cultural Framework
    Russo, Monica (1993-04-01)
    [Excerpt] In Miami, ACTWU has a local union which runs fine. We enjoy close to 100% membership in our shops—despite the fact that Florida is a "Right to Work" state—and we have a dedicated executive board. So, if it ain't broke then don't fix it, right? Wrong. While we might be running smoothly in terms of servicing our members, we are in no position to move into the future and organize any significant number of apparel workers.
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    LRR Voices: Health & Safety for Unorganized, Immigrant Workers
    Tau Lee, Pam (1993-04-01)
    Pam Tau Lee is Labor Coordinator at the Labor Occupational Health Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and serves on the boards of the National Toxic Campaign Fund, National People of Color Environmental Summit, and the Chinese Progressive Association, She recently returned from Slovakia where she collaborated with environmentalists and worker representatives in setting up a participatory approach to health and safety research. LRR asked Lee to comment on the crucial role labor can play in the area of health and safety for unorganized, immigrant workers.