Labor Studies | Mobilizing the Membership
L290 | 1267 | Steven Ashby


Major gains by the American labor movement were achieved as a result
of the resurgence of organized labor in the 1930s - the minimum wage,
the eight hour day, legalization of the right to join a union, 35% of
the workforce voting to join unions by the 1950s, medical insurance,
pensions, wage increases, etc.  The involvement of rank-and-file
members was critical to winning these gains.  Yet membership
involvement in unions declined significantly in the post-war era.
This class will discuss why members became uninvolved or apathetic in
many unions, and will analyze how some unions are rebuilding rank-and-
file participation and mobilization.  Topics will include using rank-
and-file pressure to settle grievances, dealing with difficult
members or non-members, contract campaigns, corporate or strategic
campaigns, work-to-rule campaigns, and political action.  Class meets
two Saturdays: May 17 and May 31, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm with one hour
break for lunch.