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A 100-Year-Old Idea That Could Transform the Labor Movement

Daniel Gross In These Times
With the traditional union model and its emphasis on bargaining by representatives exiting the stage, working people are urgently searching for a new way to challenge corporate power and win a better life for their families. One hundred years later, the road not taken—represented by Local 8—represents one model.

The Organizing Model: As American as Apple Pie

Erik Forman In These Times
Unions have looked to the US for ideas about how to fight back. They adopted "The Organizing Model," an approach to organizing first developed by the AFL-CIO in the 1980s that is now a core principle in virtually every major labor organization in the US, Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia. While the shift to an "organizing" orientation is more than necessary, it is also less than sufficient to revive the labor movement and it's shortcomings have also become apparent.

Now What? Labor Unions and the Inevitability of Class Struggle

Bill Fletcher, Jr. Logos
There are those who suggest that the current union movement cannot sustain itself and that out of its ashes will arise something new and better. Such views are at best wishful thinking and at worst irresponsible . . . Unions, as they are currently constituted, organized and theorized, are not up to the challenges of the 21st century. The existing union movement, however, can play a role in the building of that new labor movement for the not-so-new 21st century.

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Future of Unions: New Models of Worker Representation

Jackie Tortora AFL-CIO Now
The AFL-CIO, along with its affiliate unions, community partners and allies, are embarking on a deep evaluation of the future for working people and the labor movement and exploring innovations for the future of worker organizing. "The basic system of worker representation is failing to meet the needs of America’s working men and women by every critical measure," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
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