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Hard Work: Remaking the American Labor Movement Paperback – June 16, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0520240902 ISBN-10: 0520240901 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (June 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520240901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520240902
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Timely and smart, this book should be read by everyone interested in a possible revival of the American labor movement. The working week has gotten longer, more workers hold multiple jobs, gaps between the pay of workers and of CEOs have widened, and employers and their allies in government have attacked both unions and regulations to promote occupational health and safety. Fantasia and Voss demonstrate not only this bad news, but that new thinking and creative responses have made some headway too."—Craig Calhoun, President, Social Science Research Council

"Fantasia and Voss make an important and persuasive argument for how and why U.S. employment and labor policies set the standard for pushing down wages, labor rights, and working conditions throughout the world. They put forward an enormous challenge to the U.S. labor movement, but one that needs to be met, not just for workers and unions in the U.S., but for their labor and community allies around the globe."—Kate Bronfenbrenner, Director of Labor Education Research, Cornell University

"Fantasia and Voss’s long-awaited book offers a fresh and provocative perspective on the possibilities and limits of labor union revitalization in the U.S. They persuasively argue that the ascent of neoliberalism is both cause and consequence of organized labor’s decline, and contribute as well to the long-standing debate over American exceptionalism in the context of the new century. Hard Work is an exceptionally thoughtful overview of labor’s historical development and current dilemmas."—Ruth Milkman, Director, UC Institute for Labor and Employment

From the Back Cover

"Timely and smart, this book should be read by everyone interested in a possible revival of the American labor movement. The working week has gotten longer, more workers hold multiple jobs, gaps between the pay of workers and of CEOs have widened, and employers and their allies in government have attacked both unions and regulations to promote occupational health and safety. Fantasia and Voss demonstrate not only this bad news, but that new thinking and creative responses have made some headway too."-Craig Calhoun, President, Social Science Research Council "Fantasia and Voss make an important and persuasive argument for how and why U.S. employment and labor policies set the standard for pushing down wages, labor rights, and working conditions throughout the world. They put forward an enormous challenge to the U.S. labor movement, but one that needs to be met, not just for workers and unions in the U.S., but for their labor and community allies around the globe."-Kate Bronfenbrenner, Director of Labor Education Research, Cornell University "Fantasia and Voss's long-awaited book offers a fresh and provocative perspective on the possibilities and limits of labor union revitalization in the U.S. They persuasively argue that the ascent of neoliberalism is both cause and consequence of organized labor's decline, and contribute as well to the long-standing debate over American exceptionalism in the context of the new century. Hard Work is an exceptionally thoughtful overview of labor's historical development and current dilemmas."-Ruth Milkman, Director, UC Institute for Labor and Employment --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By varmint on July 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
In this book, Fantasia and Voss--two long-time, respected labor scholars--provide a great overview of and introduction to the American labor movement. The book was actually originally written for a French audience, so they assume you know very little about the American labor movement, explaining things like the National Labor Relations Board and the Taft-Hartley Act, instead of assuming you know about them. They also at times contrast the American labor movement with those in Eruope, which is also frequently illuminating.

Building upon Voss' previous work, they address the question of the supposed exceptionalism of the American working class--the fact that, unlike European working classes, they never developed a militant labor movement that fought for the interests of all workers and embraced socialist or social-democratic politics; instead, the labor movement has fought primarily for benefits for its members and embraced mainstream politics. But, Fantasia and Viss argue, the American labor movement was not always like this--in the mid- to late nineteenth century, the American labor movement was as militant, broad-minded and radical as its European counterparts, if not more so. What was exceptional was not the American working class, but the American capitalist class, which was far more hostile to labor than their European counterparts. This hostile social environment, in which any major labor organziation that showed signs of a broad vision of social justice was brutally crushed, lead to the thoroughly domesticated politics of the AFL-CIO, in which they agreed to act as business' junior partner, gaining increased wages and benefits for their members, in return for abandonning any broader vision and supporting the Cold War agenda.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deleta Walker on August 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Hard Work by Fantasia and Voss book gave us an insight of the work place and the different Labor Unions who have attempted to help their workers fight off bureacratic tactics practices by Business Owners. In the beginning of the chapter The United States Work Benefits was compared with the Europeans Work Benefits and the Europeans offer were more appealing. The book went on to say the the United States is a capitalistic country, because they are more interesting in making profits than taking care of their workers. Businesses uses tactics such as globalization and hiring Immigrants to work for them so that they can avoid the Labor Unions. Labor Unions who are suppose to protect their workers are sometimes bought out at the bargaining table. If Business Owners continue to get their ways then there are going to be more uprising of social movements, more standardized jobs and a cripple in the political forces. No one is really sure what the future entails for the Labor Unions. Labor Unions need to be more stronger and do what is right to protect their workes from Buisness Owners Practices.
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