Two Paths to the High Road: The Dynamics of Coalition Building in Seattle and Buffalo
Greer, Ian; Byrd, Barbara; Fleron, Lou Jean
[Excerpt] Labor-community coalitions are not a new concept. Unions approach such coalitions now, as in the past, as one way to enhance their bargaining power with an employer. Such coalitions are temporary and often issue-based. In recent years, however, some local labor movements have begun to look at coalitions in a broader way – as a means of improving their public image and building power in the political arena. This broad-based approach requires the development of coalitions for the longer run, not just for temporary expediency. This paper develops the notion of a high road social infrastructure as a way to understand how union leaders develop and sustain coalitions over time and find the resources they need to succeed in shaping economic development priorities for the region.
ILR; Cornell University; Seattle; Buffalo; coalition; labor; employer; movement; union; union leader; political arena; economic development