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The Failure of Organizing, the New Unity Partnership and the Future of the Labor Movement

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[Excerpt] The New Unity Partnership (NUP) has stirred up a firestorm of controversy in union circles. Its inception can be traced to the July 4th holiday in 2003 when five national union presidents gathered for a candid private discussion about the future of the labor movement. The motivation for the summit was concern about the collective inability of unions to reverse their fading fortunes. At this and subsequent meetings the unions considered structural and strategic options to promote union growth, ultimately committing to a form of mutual aid pact to pool resources for coordinated organizing initiatives and to support each other in critical campaigns. The controversy stems not from this tangible outcome, but from the NUP’s call to dramatically restructure the entire movement by redefining the AFL-CIO and consolidating unions into fifteen or twenty sectoral powerhouses.

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2004-10-01

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New Unity Partnership; union; labor movement; organizing; labor rights

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Required Publisher Statement: Reprinted with permission of Wiley-Blackwell. Final version published as Hurd, R. W. (2004). The failure of organizing, the New Unity Partnership and the future of the labor movement. Working USA, 8(1), 5-25.

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