To a generation of trade union scholars and activists, Labor Research Review was a central forum for analysis, criticism, and strategic thinking on the American labor movement in the late 20th century.
Chicago labor activist Dan Swinney at the Midwest Center for Labor Research, helped by a dedicated editorial board of union and community organizers and allies in the academy, published LRR’s 24 volumes from 1982 to 1996. These were years of wrenching change for organized labor, with an economic shift from industry to services and the growing impact of globalization. But it was also a period of creative organizing, bargaining, and alliance-building whose effects carry into the present day.
From Volume 1 on strategies for halting plant shutdowns to Volume 24 on new models of organizing, bargaining, and international solidarity, LRR was an outlet for labor strategists willing to break with orthodox thinking and offer an alternative vision of trade union revitalization. Many LRR contributors later moved into positions of senior responsibility in trade unions and other social advocacy organizations or distinguished themselves as scholars of the labor movement.
DigitalCollections@ILR now makes universally available this unique record of trade union and community strategies and tactics in a key period of crisis and opportunity for the labor movement.