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No ShortcutsOrganizing for Power in the New Gilded Age$
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Jane F. McAlevey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624712.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Pretend Power vs. Actual Power

Chapter:
(p.199) 7 Conclusion
Source:
No Shortcuts
Author(s):

Jane F. McAlevey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624712.003.0007

This concluding chapter sums up the lessons of the book’s case studies and argues that reversing today’s inequality requires a robust embrace of unions. These unions must be democratic and focused on bottom-up rather than top-down strategies. They must also place the primary agency for change in the workers themselves, acting collectively at work and in the communities in which they reside. The damage done over fifty years, years in which the corporate right has seized firm control of the power structure, can be beaten back, but only if the labor movement readopts and modernizes the methods and strategies deployed by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1930s and 1940s and the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The road to renewal will no doubt be a hard road and a long one, but there are no shortcuts to progress.

Keywords:   unions, bottom-up strategies, workers’ agency, workers’ communities, Congress of Industrial Organizations, Civil Rights movements, CIO

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