Though the unions held themselves up as civil rights advocates, white workers often saw their black counterparts as a threat because they competed for the same jobs. In response, black workers formed coalitions to change unions from within. The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, for example, was founded in 1972. One union stood out when it came to opportunity and access for black workers: the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters with its significant black membership.
Bernard Osterloh, head of VW's work council in Germany, stated that VW might not build another plant in the South. He said one might draw the conclusion that conservatives anti-union interference "amounts to unfair labor praxis."
"The outcome of the vote, however, does not change our goal of setting up a works council in Chattanooga," Gunnar Kilian, secretary general of VW's works council, said in a statement on Sunday, adding that workers continued to back the idea of labor representation at the plant.
UAW - VW Vote in Chattanooga - Can Impact Country's Labor Relations; Past Southern Organizing Efforts
If workers vote to join a union at Volkswagen's Tennessee plant this week, they'll be changing America's labor relations for the better - Harold Meyerson. (Voting started yesterday, Feb. 12, and continues through tomorrow, Feb. 15) Lane Windham looks at past labor and UAW organizing efforts in the south.
The American Prospect
Boeing workers ratify contract in close vote. NYU graduate workers vote to unionize in overwhelming vote. In a contest between mobile capital and a skilled workforce the workers at Boeing were at a distinct disadvantage. At NYU after years of frustration due to unfair labor laws the UAW and the graduates students prevailed through skilled organizing and perseverance.
In These Times
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is set to review a case involving graduate assistants at New York University. If it is favorably reviewed it could reopen the door to unionizing thousands of graduate employees at private universities.
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This article is based upon an interrogation of two books: Gregg Shotwell, Autoworkers Under the Gun: A Shop-Floor View of the End of the American Dream; and Jane McAlevey with Bob Ostertag, Raising Expectations (And Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting For the Labor Movement. Each book focuses on an iconic labor union (UAW and SEIU). What they report gives us reason for both deep concern and hope concerning the future of organized labor.