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Solidarity for Sale: How Corruption Destroyed the Labor Movement and Undermined America's Promise Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 23, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
AAA slew of keen insights An important read for anyone who cares about the future of organized labor in America. -- Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2006
Top Customer Reviews
SOLIDARITY FOR SALE should be amunition for workers and, if accepted and heeded by those that lead unions, will surely benefit the labor movement. SOLIDARITY FOR SALE represents solid investigative reporting that we should all read as part of the effort to reform labor law, restructure unions, and mobilize workers striving to improve their collective conditions. Fitch writes from the perspective of workers--compassionately seeking a solution that will lead to more accountable and strong labor unions. Do not be fooled by those that disparage this book as anti-union.Read more ›
Mr. Fitch has provided us with a great body of work, research and insights into the history and troubles of the labor movement. He has helped define and clarify some of the questions that have bothered me for years.
From my personal experience as a reformer in a mob dominated union and as a member of the Laborers Union of North America (LIUNA) for over 30 years, the truths of this book rings forth on every page.
Mr. Fitch has stepped forward with a passion and courage of thought to speak of the "Mokita" that we all know about but do not speak of. The corruption of the AFL-CIO and how it came to be.
This is a book that should be read by every thinking member of organized labor, reformers and those who would like to join us.
It deserves its place of prominence on the number 1 site for laborers. I endorse this book and I would like to thank Robert Fitch for spending the precious hours of his life writing it.
Fitch begins his work by tracing corrupt practices in the beginning of the 20th century, particularly in New York and Chicago. He then provides a number of anecdotes about how the mob or corrupt leadership has controlled or destroyed various locals in the Teamsters, UNITE-HERE (garment workers), LIUNA (laborers) and AFSCME-in New York City. However, Fitch's sensational examples fail to tie in to anything close to a theory. Moreover, Fitch doesn't balance his work by demonstrating what is working or showing how his argument stands against his grudging admission that the overwhelming majority of International Unions and Locals are free from corruption (he admits as much when he discusses the Teamsters). Moreover, Fitch offers nothing new with respect to solutions, except that his suggestion that the closed shop should be abolished and all members should pay dues voluntarily, in the matter of the French system-collection of stamps. He fails to explain why this form of volunteerism hasn't taken hold among members in open shop states who are happy to receive the benefits of collective bargaining without paying for them. Ultimately, while Fitch's sensational stories are easy to read and it is easy for those with no union experience to extrapolate these experiences to an entire movement, the end result is misleading, shrill and anti-union.
Although most trade union leaders are aware of corruption in their own and other unions, they are almost never willing to do anything to do anything about it, even if they are themselves honest. Bob Fitch provides a useful explanation as to why this is the case. Given that many of the same leaders will fight for the rights of working people at home and abroad, it is troubling that so many look the other way when their own institutions are the subject.
Fitch discusses some of the more extreme examples of corruption. Most union activists could add their own stories to his list. However, few would be willing to tell the stories publicly, because to do so would subject them to attack. In 1983 or 1984, for example, the Empire State College Labor Studies program was an organizer, along with some other labor studies programs of a conference on the labor movement. One panel at that conference touched on the subject of union corruption. That session was very lively with numerous participants telling about their own experiences with corrupt union leaders. As a result of that panel, several unions threatened to pull their students out of Empire State. To keep the students, Empire State fired those panelists who were adjunct faculty members instead.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a committed believer in the necessity and indispensable value of the labor movement, I seek to more fully understand the dynamics of its current crisis. Read morePublished on March 23, 2014 by paul
A great, dismaying look at how the post-plantation 'work system' in the U.S. has herded & corralled organized union labor into a penned - in and well supervised labyrinth of legal... Read morePublished on December 27, 2012 by John A. Joslin
We believe that this gripping book will intrigue anyone who is interested in American politics, the labor movement, or social and economic reform. Read morePublished on December 21, 2006 by Rolf Dobelli
Having worked as a business journalist but dipped my toe into labor history, I find Fitch's book to be thoroughly comprehensive but never dull! Read morePublished on July 4, 2006 by Alex N.
Though Fitch does not offer any solutions, his expose is well chronicled. The documentation and stories are entertaining as well as informative, and his analysis does not omit the... Read morePublished on April 18, 2006 by Dagmar F. Pelzer
New York City-based labor reporter Robert Fitch`s new book, ``Solidarity For Sale, how corruption destroyed the labor movement and undermined America`s progress`` is a great expose... Read morePublished on April 14, 2006 by Gregory A. Butler
This is a book that the rank and file should read. The only book of its kind. I can't compete with the intellectuals trashing the book. I do know this book made me stop and think. Read morePublished on February 24, 2006 by Paul Pamias