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Another Important Michael Yates Book
on February 10, 1999
Over the past decade, economist Michael Yates has written a number of books for working people -- "Power on the Job," "The Labor Law Handbook," "Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs: Employment and Unemployment in the United States" and now "Why Unions Matter." Yates manages to write in a clear readable style and, at the same time, talk about complex matters. He is also one of the very few nonlawyers who has an understanding and grasp of the role of law. "Why Unions Matter" manages to provide a lot of information about union history, labor economics, and even how to organize a union and bargain a contract in a very concise book. While I might differ with Yates on some details, I think this book makes a valuable contribution. It and his other books should be on every unionist's bookshelf, and unionists should lobby their public libraries to carry Yates' books.
As a final note, it is a very rare thing for academics, such as Yates, to write for a popular audience. All the pressures in academia are to write for other academics. It takes imagination, caring and courage to do what Yates does, and he deserves our gratitude for it.