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Ravenswood: The Steelworkers' Victory and the Revival of American Labor (Paperback)
  • Ravenswood: The Steelworkers' Victory and the Revival of American Labor (Paperback)

Ravenswood: The Steelworkers' Victory and the Revival of American Labor (Paperback)

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Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 20/04/2000
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Over the past two decades, Americans have seen their workplaces downsized and streamlined, their jobs out-sourced, sped up, and, all too often, eliminated. Unions have seemed powerless to defend their members, with big defeats in the strikes at PATCO, Eastern Airlines, International Paper, and Hormel. Ravenswood recounts how the United Steelworkers of America, in a battle waged over an aluminum plant in West Virginia, proved that organized labor can still win-even against a company controlled by one of the world's richest and most powerful men. Fast paced and compellingly written, the book provides an insider's look at the new tactics that many hope will revitalize the struggle for workers' rights in America.On November 1, 1990, just as its contract with the United Steelworkers of America was about to expire, Ravenswood Aluminum Corporation locked out its seventeen hundred employees and hired permanent replacements. Despite deteriorating conditions that had led to five deaths in the previous year, the company had refused to discuss safety and health issues. The locked-out workers faced an industry in turmoil, a plant manager with a grudge against the union, and a business controlled by a billionaire fugitive from justice. Tom Juravich and Kate Bronfenbrenner describe how victory was achieved through the commitment of the workers and their families coupled with one of the most innovative contract campaigns ever waged by an American union.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801486661
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 425 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm

"In important ways, the Ravenswood strike illustrates the difficulties facing US workers as economic forces transform traditional employment patterns and relationships. The authors contend that unions remain a viable means of effective collective action. They depict in compelling detail the courage and intelligence of Ravenswood workers, whose efforts signaled a new vitality in the labor movement. . . For anyone with an interest in labor issues, this book is a valuable account of a significant union victory."-Choice. January, 2000
"Juravich and Bronfenbrenner analyze a little-noted labor victory that may turn out to have been more significant in revitalizing a flagging labor movement than the 1997 Teamsters' strike against UPS. . . Most important, Ravenswood illustrates the consequenses that result when financial consultants and corporate raiders take over companies and move to slash costs."-David Rouse, Booklist. July 1999.
"The book succeeds remarkably well. . . . I highly recommend the book to labor educators, union activists, and others interested in seeing how American unions have adapted to changing corporate structures and the dramatic decline in their ability to exert economic pressure using the traditional strike weapon."-Jeffrey B. Arthur, Assistant Professor of Management, Fairfield University. Industrial and Labor Relations Review. July 2000.
"Unionists seeking a manual on how to run a strategic contract campaign should read this page-turner about the steelworkers' struggle against Ravenswood Aluminum Co. . . .The authors vividly capture every step of their difficult but intrepid and inspiring struggle, which marked a turning point in labor's revival after years of setbacks."-Molly Charboneau, AFSCME DC37 Newspaper
"Global capital rules today; thanks to Ravenswood, workers can learn sophisticated tactics to face distant owners. This book is a key tool for a revived and effective labor movement and shows that all the components outlined combine to make effective union campaigns."-Mike Matejka, Union News. December, 1999.
"Ravenswood is the story of 'permanently replaced' aluminum workers who pushed themselves. . . to the limit to save their way of life. It is well worth reading."-David Keene II, The Federal Lawyer. November/December, 1999.
"The epic struggle and ultimate victory of the Steelworkers at Ravenswood proves that determined workers and their union can overcome the entrenched, bitter resistance of a rich, global corporate empire. Workers everywhere are indebted to Kate Bronfenbrenner and Tom Juravich for recounting this story of hope in such a compelling and human fashion."-George Becker, President, United Steelworkers of America
"This record of the struggle and victory of Ravenswood workers and their community is exciting and inspiring, a marvelous account of courage and solidarity. It is also highly instructive. As the authors vividly show, the imaginative techniques that were devised to overcome the lockout yield many lessons for working people and unions in the face of 'new powerful yet diffuse corporate structures,' and socioeconomic policies that enhance their power."-Noam Chomsky
"Tom Juravich and Kate Bronfenbrenner have blended these workers' voices with a razor-sharp analysis of the winning strategy at Ravenswood-the result is both compelling and useful. As today's workplaces are rapidly downsized and globalized, it is more important than ever that the Labor Movement understand our victories in order to replicate them."-John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO

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