Poor Workers’ Unions by Vanessa Tait

by VanessaVaile

one of the many labor and social justice titles available at Haymarket Books’ 40% off Holiday sale

New Unionism Network blog

Poor Workers' UnionsNew Unionism Network member Richard Leitch reviews “Poor Workers’ Unions” by Vanessa Tait – a comprehensive survey of the alternative labour movement in the US over the last four decades.

We have here an unusual and very valuable book. Combining her skills as journalist, labour activist and librarian, Vanessa Tait has compiled a comprehensive survey of the alternative labour movement in the US over the last four decades. Her concern is to show how groups situated outside the AFL-CIO mainstream have struggled and organised themselves to achieve economic justice through the creation of ‘poor workers’ unions’ (PWUs). In so doing these independent organs have shown the wider labour movement a more expansive, democratic option that represents “the best possibility for the future” (229), a ‘social justice’ unionism which has now established a foothold in the mainstream. Within the hidden history she reconstructs Tait also points to the misunderstandings in our…

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