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Labor Research Review, Volume 1, Number 03 (1983)

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Labor Research Review, Volume 1, Number 3 (1983).

Fighting Rust: Labor-Community Struggles in Smokestack America


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    U.S. Steel and "Treason"
    Shapira, Phil (1983-06-01)
    [Excerpt] In a comparatively short time, the Midwest Center for Labor Research has established a reputation for insightful and well produced research which has been extremely valuable to labor and community activists. Unfortunately I feel that you have slipped backwards somewhat with your recent publication U.S. Steel: The Betrayal of America. This pamphlet is timely and right in criticizing U.S. Steel's plan to close part of the Fairless Works in Pennsylvania and import steel from Britain to finish there. But, there are several problems with the approach the authors of the pamphlet take.
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    Concessions Bargaining in Auto
    Slaughter, Jane (1983-06-01)
    [Excerpt] David Bensman's "Concessions at South Works" in the Winter issue of Labor Research Review was an excellent recounting and analysis of the concessions process at United Steel workers Local 65. However, it misrepresents the nature of both the concessions and the concessions process in the United Auto Workers. Not only did the UAW's contracts with Ford and General Motors fail to provide "job security" as advertised, they were also arrived at by a process fully as manipulative as that in the USWA.
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    Democracy and Bureaucracy in the USWA
    Balanoff, Jim; Balanoff, Betty (1983-06-01)
    [Excerpt] America's labor movement is on the ropes, struggling for survival. Many of its leaders seem uncertain which way to turn, whom to trust or what to do to secure that survival. When they talk about organizing the unorganized, they think mainly in terms of how to replace the numbers they have lost in recent years. How did labor manage to sink so low after those glorious struggles of the 1930's and 40's that produced the CIO?
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    Documenting the Social Cost of Unemployment
    Swinney, Dan (1983-06-01)
    [Excerpt] In the commercial press, unemployment figures, are frequently cited and there are periodic human interest stories about the unemployed. But rarely are the causes of plant closings analyzed and linked to the profound and terrible impact they have on the communities that have nurtured these same corporations for generations. Costs, profits, and industrial development are perceived in narrow corporate terms, not in their full relationship to our society.
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    The Revitilization of Organized Labor in Youngstown
    Russo, John (1983-06-01)
    [Excerpt] From the Little Steel strikes of the 1930's to the industrial strike at General Motor's Lordstown complex in the early 1970's, organized labor in the Youngstown area has been a force to be reckoned with in its efforts to protect its membership and improve the quality of life of working people. Yet, throughout the late 1960's and 1970's, the labor community increasingly suffered the ill-effects of business unionism. Business unionism's preoccupation with economism and sectionalism caused the local labor movement to narrow its social focus and to become increasingly fragmented, insular and directionless. These inherent weaknesses became painfully obvious as corporate America systematically disinvested in the Youngstown area.
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    Child of Steel
    Massaro, Anthony (1983-06-01)
    [Excerpt] After several months of thinking about what is happening to the working class, particularly the steel industry and the whole system of labor, this poem came to me. I drive by Homestead Mill every morning to get to my job and to get home I drive past the J&L Steel Mill. Occasionally, I drive through Braddock to the house and street where most of my life was spent. These are some of the contributing factors which also helped to crystallize this poem.
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    Organizing the Unemployed - Baltimore
    Brooks, Keith (1983-06-01)
    [Excerpt] Depression level unemployment has given rise to the biggest upsurge in organizing activity amongst the unemployed since the 1930's. While the level of the current movement is clearly not the same as during those times, a broad and rich range of experience has been gained over the last few years by the dozens of unemployed groups that have sprung up around the country. Recently, many of these groups met together in Erie, Pennsylvania, for the first conference of the newly formed National Unemployed Network.
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    Eminent Domain & Bank Boycotts: The Tri-State Strategy in Pittsburgh
    Stout, Mike (1983-06-01)
    [Excerpt] American steel corporations are currently in the process of cutting as much as 20 to 25 per cent of their productive capacity, much of it in the Pittsburgh area. With U.S. Steel's recent move to buy steel slabs from overseas steel companies, the snowball effect on other companies could eliminate more than 50 per cent of the hot-metal producing end of steelmaking in America.