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Left-of-Centre Parties and Trade Unions in the Twenty-First Century$
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Elin Haugsgjerd Allern and Tim Bale

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790471

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790471.001.0001

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Still So Happy Together?

Still So Happy Together?

The Relationship between Labour Unions and the Democratic Party

Chapter:
(p.264) 14 Still So Happy Together?
Source:
Left-of-Centre Parties and Trade Unions in the Twenty-First Century
Author(s):

Christopher Witko

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790471.003.0014

This chapter examines the relationship between labour unions and the Democratic Party in the US. Despite labour’s historical weakness and the absence of factors that lead to institutionalized relationships between unions and parties in other democracies, labour unions and the Democratic Party formed a fairly close, mutually beneficial relationship beginning in the 1930s. This relationship was never very highly institutionalized, however, and the survey results and analysis show that links between unions and parties are few and ad hoc compared to other democracies. As unions have weakened in recent years this has led to declining union resources on offer to the Democratic Party, and consequently less influence within the Democratic Party. Yet, labour still views itself as fairly closely allied to the Democratic Party, probably because the anti-labour stance of the Republican Party leaves labour with few other options in America’s two-party system.

Keywords:   Democratic Party, AFL-CIO, Democratic National Committee, labour caucus, Change to Win

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