State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence

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9780071488440: State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence

From steel workers, Teamsters, and coal miners to teachers, actors, and civil servants, union members once accounted for more than one third of the American workforce. At a mere 12 percent, union membership today is a shadow of what it once was. What happened to organized labor in America and what can be done to restore it to its role of the defender of middle-class values and economic well-being?

Award-winning investigative reporter Philip M. Dine takes us on a riveting journey through America's cities and back roads, its factories and union halls, to answer those questions. From the health care crisis to massive job flight overseas, from rampant home foreclosures to illegal immigration, he clearly shows how virtually every major economic, political, and social trend impacting our way of life is tied to the state of America's unions.

Combining a compelling narrative with expert analysis, Dine offers firsthand accounts of the union members striving to make their voices heard in a political landscape increasingly shaped by corporate interests, including how:

  • The women of Delta Pride-a major player in the multi-billion dollar catfish industry-went up against generations of racial and economic prejudice
  • Iowa's firefighters union flexed its collective muscle to score a major political victory in the 2004 caucus
  • The American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO played a key role in bringing down the Iron Curtain
  • The Teamsters enlisted community support to temporarily stop a move by Mr. Coffee to relocate to Mexico and saved nearly 400 manufacturing jobs in the Cleveland area

A reporter who has covered labor for two decades, Dine not only details where labor has gone wrong, but he also offers sage advice on how it can adapt to a global economy to recover the ground it lost over the last quarter century.

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From the Back Cover:

PRAISE FOR STATE OF THE UNIONS

“Phil Dine tells a compelling tale-and he writes beautifully-of the decline, fall, and potential rebirth of a powerful labor movement in the U.S.”-Mike Wallace, CBS News

State of the Unions is an excellent, inspiring, and very readable analysis of the current struggles and past triumphs of the American labor movement. Longtime respected labor reporter Phil Dine makes a compelling case that a much stronger labor movement in the years ahead is indispensable for restoring fairness for working families and reducing the widening income gap that is threatening the American dream for so many millions of our families.”-Senator Edward M. Kennedy

State of the Unions provides a penetrating look at what's happened to American workers-and how labor unions have failed them. It's an important book on a subject that gets far too little attention.”-Michael Isikoff, author of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War

“Phil Dine presents a compelling case for the critical role unions play in preserving the dignity of workers and the American way of life. State of the Unions is a must read for anyone concerned about the future of our country.”-John J. Flynn, President, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

State of the Unions-with its keen observations and thoughtful conclusions-could be a primer for labor leaders and labor reporters. Except it's so well-written and entertaining that it beckons anyone who works for a living to bring it to the beach.”-Linda Foley, President, Newspaper Guild-CWA, Vice President, Communications Workers of America

“The facts are uncontestable. The conclusions often controversial. The challenges historic. Phil Dine offers a compelling and provocative look at labor's role in the political, social and economic marketplace.”-The Honorable Tom Ridge

“The author enters areas few media professionals have ever even visited...in this astonishing new book.”-Bernard DeLury, Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service under President George H.W. Bush

About the Author:

Philip M. Dine has covered the labor beat for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for two decades. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his labor reporting, he was also recognized for best Washington correspondence by the National Press Club and named top foreign correspondent by the Overseas Press Club. His op-ed and commentary pieces have been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and Newsday.

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