The timing of this instructive and challenging critique of organized labor could not have been better. All around the country workers are crying out for organization and power. For many reasons, all examined in this work, the splintered labor movement has not been able to overcome decades of collusion with the corporations and what has objectively been a surrender to big business. Brothers Fletcher and Gapasin offer solutions. The entire labor movement, but especially Black working class activists need to engage these arguments as they reassert themselves in the trade union and Black Liberation movements.
What others are saying:
Bill Fletcher and Fernando Gapasin have put together a hard-hitting analysis of the crisis facing organized labor. But this is not just something for people involved in unions. If we are to build a movement for social justice then we must confront the issues that they are raising.”—Danny Glover
“This is an extraordinarily important and provocative reflection on the limitations of self-reform and reinvention within the American labor movement. The authors provide readers with a unique first-hand view of internal debates, personalities, and decision-making processes but also use their intimate knowledge of union culture and carefully narrated case studies to transcend mere stone-throwing. This book is unlikely to be matched by any other journalistic account or memoir…. A landmark in all debates about ‘what next’ for labor.”—Mike Davis, author of Prisoners of the American Dream
“There are few writers and activists whom I would rather read on the recent past, the present and the future of the labor movement than Fernando Gapasin and William Fletcher. This is an especially accessible and balanced exploration of recent efforts at community unionism, international solidarity, coalition with nonunion workers and empowerment of immigrants. Above all this is far and away the best argument for the importance of central labor unions that I have read.”—David R. Roediger, author of Working Toward Whiteness
“This is a very valuable work, well-written and useful to union activists and students of working-class life and history alike. Fletcher and Gapasin have performed a public service of high quality by bringing into the national conversation an enlightened focus on labor and its relation to other sectors of the population, seeking to reinvigorate and enlarge our democracy. This book is ‘a star to steer by’ as we move through troubled waters in a dark time, confident that in our substantive unity of purpose, we can and shall overcome.”—Jack O’Dell, former associate editor, Freedomways magazine