Strike Lessons from the Last Twenty-Five Years: Walking Out and Winning
Against The Current vol. 124

Early, Steve
Date Written:  2006-09-01
Publisher:  Against The Current
Year Published:  2006
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX13277

Labor's strike effectiveness and organizational strength have long been connected. Throughout history, work stoppages have been used for economic and political purposes, to alter the balance of power between labor and capital within single workplaces, entire industries, or nationwide. Strikes have won shorter hours and safer conditions, through legislation or contract negotiation.(1) They've fostered new forms of worker organization -- such as industrial unions -- that were badly needed because of corporate restructuring and the reorganization of production. Strikes have acted as incubators for class consciousness, rank-and-file leadership development, and political activism.(2) In other countries, strikers have challenged -- and changed -- governments that were dictatorial and oppressive (plus union leadership no longer accountable to the membership).

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