Card Check: Labor's Charlie Brown Moment? (part 2)

by Robert Fitch

1. Taylor Dark, The Unions and the Democrats (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1999),107-114. See also Steve Early, "Labor Law Reform 30 Years Later: Back to the Future with EFCA," Labor; 2008; 5:7, 7-16.

2. August 8, 1993. cited here.

3. Dark, 172-176.

4. See here.

5. See here.

6. See here.

7. See here.

8. See here.

9. See here.

10. See here.

11. See here. For Stern's influence, see Peter Nicholass, "Union Leader Has Obama's Ear," Chicago Tribune, June 28, 2009.

12. Interview, Senate Labor Committee staffer, Steve Wymer, June 15, 2009.

13. See here.

14. Wilhelm himself had reservations about EFCA, but attacked Stern for signaling a willingness to compromise. See here.

15. Antonio Gramsci, The Antonio Gramsci Reader, David Forgacs, ed. (New York: NYU Press, 2000), 242.

16. Ibid., 242-3.

17. Ibid., 240.

18. Ibid., 94.

19. Confederazione Generale del Lavoro.

20. See here.

21. Far less mobilization took place than fifteen yeas ago when organized labor made a concerted legislative stand against NAFTA.

22. See here.

23. C. Wright Mills, The New Men of Power, Introduction by Nelson Lichtenstein. (Urbana: University of Illinois,1948 {2001}, xv.

24. While still maintaining a kind of job network in the labor movement, the CPUSA appears to lack a serious labor union analysis or plan for independent work in labor institutions. Many Marxist-Leninist groups barely even discuss unions. (See here.) The Green Party program endorses labor law reform: "Majority Card Check Recognition" is their number one priority, but has no program explaining how activists would achieve these reforms.

25. Even in Moyers' case when the Chicago Teamsters are involved.

26. New Men, 21.

27. Ibid., 20.

28. American Capitalism has only a few peripheral mentions of European institutions.

29. Conscience of a Liberal (N.Y., W. W. Norton, 2009), 140-141.

30. Ibid., 149-152. See also Paul Krugman, "State of the Unions," New York Times, December 24, 2007.

31. Richard B. Freeman and James L. Medoff, What Do Unions Do? (New York: Basic Books, 1984).

32. Conscience, 150.

33. William Haber, Industrial Relations in the Building Trades (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1930) 500

34. Derek C. Bok, "Reflections on the Distinctive Character of American Labor Law," Harvard Law Review 89, no.6 1971 (1394-463).

35. The head of UNITE-HERE (367,000members) last year earned nearly $392, 000 in salary plus another $100,000 in compensation from the Amalgamated Bank, owned by the union. But when the president of UNITE, Britain's largest union, with 2 million members raised his salary to the equivalent of $146,000 it made headlines.

      In the U.S. the head of UNITE-HERE, with 366,000 members, earned $392,000 plus another $100,000 from UNITE's bank. Department of Labor Employment Standards, LM-2. File 000-511 31 March 2009.

36. U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, U.S.A. v. Michael Forde et al. Sealed Indictment. S3 08 Cr 828.

37. U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. U.S. A. v. Local 282 et al of the IBT. Civil Action NO. CV-94-2919.Platt, J. See here.

38. "Any union illegal conduct should be rooted out, but in a world of multi-billion corporate corruption, unions are pure as snow." See here.

39. See here.

40. Freeman and Medoff, 162-180.

41. See Robert Fitch, "Our Labor Leaders Need French Lessons," New Politics, Vol. 6, no.1, Summer 1996. See also an important study on the origins of the difference between the two labor movements, Gerald Friedman. State-Making and Labor Movements. France and the United States, 1876-1914 (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press), 1998.

42. New Men, 17.

43. Ibid., 18.

44. Surprisingly, given that URPE was founded by David Gordon, there seems to be little interest in labor economics. See for example the topics explored at URPE's most recent conference.

45. p.31.

46. The key text for translating Marcusian analysis into discourse about the inherent limits of labor movements is probably Stanley Aronowitz, False Promises: The Shaping of Working Class Consciousness, [1973] (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1992).

47. Jurgen Habermas, (1987) 372.

48. Emmanuel Saez,"The Evolution of Top Incomes in the U.S.," Department of Economics, UC Berkeley, March 15, 2006.

49. The legislators who, in exchange for contributions, make good on labor leaders' promises to employers that they can deliver extra state funds if the employers recognize the union.

50. Bill Fletcher Jr., and Fernando Gapasin, Solidarity Divided, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008), 129.

51. See here.

52. State of the Union: A Century of American Labor. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton U. Press, 2002), 276.

53. Kim Moody, U.S. Labor in Trouble and Transition, p. 177. See also Steve Early Embedded With Organized Labor (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2009).

54. Ruth Milkman, (ed.) Organizing Immigrants (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2000), 21.

55. See here.

56. Herman Benson, Rebels, Reformers and Racketeers: How Insurgents Transformed the Labor Movement (lst Books, 2004).

57. Mike Parker and Martha Gruelle, Democracy is Power (Detroit: A Labor Notes Book, 1999), 44, 153, 184.

58. Robert Franklin Hoxie and E.H. Downey, Trade Unionism in the United States (New York: D. Appleton & Co.1917),45-6.

59. "Imagined Solidarity".

60. Principles of Political Economy (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, {1900}2004), 852.

61. An Injury to All (New York: Verso, 1988), 338.

62. U.S. Labor in Trouble and Transition (London: Verso, 2007), 246.

63. Summary of 2008 NLRB report.

64. Unregulated Work in the Global City, Brennan Center for Justice, 2007.

65. Angus Maddison The World Economy: Historical statistics, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Development Centre, 2003.

66. Gerald Friedman, State-Making and Labor Movements (Ithaca: Cornell University Press,1998), 121.

67. "Increasing the elasticity of the demand for labor," economists call it.

68. Engels to Bebel, October 28, 1885, In (Lapidus, ed., Marx and Engels on the Trade Unions), 132.

69. Erickson, Milkman et. al., "California's Revolt at the Bottom of the Wage Scale"; SEIU Local 1877 Justice for Janitors Fact Sheet, 17 May 2008.

70. William Haber, Industrial Relations (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), 152.

71. Ibid., 232.

72. Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 1971).

73. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, [1651] (London: Penguin Books, 1968), ch. 20, p. 107.

74. John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2004), 852.

75. See here.

76. Federalist 10, 128.

77. See here.