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.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Multi-Union Organizing: Speech by David Sickler 12/7/95 at UCLA 

    Sickler, David (1996-06-01)
    {Excerpt} Multi-union organizing is my favorite subject. As a regional director of the AFL-CIO, I have to spin a lot of plates in the air, but organizing is the thing that I'm interested in the most. It's what I volunteered ...
  • "I Think the Unions Beat Me": The 1995 Kentucky Governor's Race 

    Matuszak, Michael (1996-06-01)
    [Excerpt]The Kentucky election is one in which organized labor grappled with this dilemma and discovered that the democratic tools of education, coalition building, and organizing, which are the keys to building a strong ...
  • LRR Focus: An Old Alliance From a Global Angle 

    Unknown author (1996-06-01)
    [Excerpt] The alliance between labor and the church is not only one of the oldest relationships in the US; it is also one of the most potent. Even in Puritan New England, according to Jama Lazerov's Religion and the Working ...
  • Making Labor A Powerful Force: The Role of the CBTU 

    Adams, Larry (1996-06-01)
    [Excerpt] An Interview with Brenda Stokely by Larry Adams, concerning the AFL-CIO Full Participation Conference and moking the rhetoric of "inclusion" ond "diversity" in organized labor into a reality.
  • Beyond the Activist: Steward-As-Educator 

    Mallett, Daniel (1996-06-01)
    [Excerpt] The Education Advisory Committee, the longest standing committee of the Canadian Labor Congress, met in 1994 to deliberate on issues of vital importance to the future of trade union education within the Canadian ...
  • AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils: Organizing for Social Justice 

    Sneiderman, Marilyn (1996-06-01)
    [Excerpt] Movements start small and grow through struggle. They are born of rage and injustice, and built by winning victories. And each victory demonstrates that collective action is the first step to gaining the power ...
  • Ron Carey Responds 

    Carey, Ron (1996-06-01)
    [Excerpt] "A New Labor Movement in the Shell of the Old?" hits the nail on the head when it says that any hope of reviving the labor movement depends on change at the grassroots, not just in Washington, D.C. In the past ...
  • Building Independent Political Power 

    Colburn, Bruce (1996-06-01)
    [Excerpt] I am excited that the new leadership of the AFL-CIO is committing an additional $35 million to building labor's political operation during this election year. But I'm especially excited that they will be doing ...
  • A "New Labor Movement" in the Shell of the Old? 

    Brecher, Jeremy; Costello, Tim (1996-06-01)
    [Excerpt] A lot has changed since the formation of the AFL-CIO 40 years ago. A regulated national economy has been transformed into a global economy — one in which American workers can be put into competition with others ...
  • Community-Labor Alliance Sparks South Carolina 

    Greer, Simon (1996-06-01)
    [Excerpt] On October 27,1994, employees of the Melrose Resort, on South Carolina's Daufuskie Island, made history. They voted 98 to 45 to be represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). With this ...

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