The Urbanization of Union Strategy and Struggle
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the urbanization of labor union strategies. Labor unions are organizations formed by workers to accomplish a common purpose. They were formed in the workplace where workers' power is at its greatest potential extent. However, the recognition that organized labor can no longer be successful when action is confined to the workplace encourages unions to pursue strategies that link workplace organization to extra-workplace relations where they may find additional sources of power and greater liberty of action. In linking other spheres of social life to the workplace, unions transgress the boundaries that defined the postwar employment relations system and begin charting an arena of labor struggle and strategy that is specifically urban. In pursuing urban labor strategies, unions are extending their representative function both to nonunionized workers and to the many ways in which their members are not just workers but social actors with a plurality of needs and identities.
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