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LUMPENPROLETARIAT—[+] When we consider the plight of workers in the global political economy, within the capitalist mode of production, and subject to asymmetric power relations by employers, we recall unionisation and collective bargaining give workers a seat at the negotiating table with employers.  Studies show, unionised workers enjoy better working conditions and less exploitative wages.  And unions with global solidarity enjoy even more benefits of mutual aid.  Collective Bargaining Under Duress: Case Studies of Major North American Industries, as its extended subtitle explains, is a survey of major North American Industries and the state of collective bargaining in those industries.                -Messina


Collective Bargaining Under Duress: Case Studies of Major North American Industries. Edited by Howard R. Stanger, Paul F. Clark, and Ann C. Frost (2013, Labor and Employment Relations Association Series; ILR Press)  (350 pp.)  Collection:  LERA Research Volumes


CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS—The Great Recession that began in 2007 was marked by high rates of unemployment, the near collapse of the banking sector, and the bankruptcy of a host of venerable firms. The economy has only slowly recovered over the intervening years. Throughout this time, the labor movement has faced numerous challenges; among them declining union membership, lackluster organizing performance, and difficulties at the bargaining table. Collective bargaining came under especially severe pressure in both private and public sectors. Employers were now more aggressive than in the 1980s, and unions were expected to concede with no promises of anything in return.

Collective Bargaining under Duress highlights the recent state of collective bargaining in eight different industries across both the private and public sectors. The contributors document the struggles common throughout in new organizing, securing viable collective agreements for members after winning election, and protecting earlier hard-won gains in the face of increasingly aggressive employer opposition.


  • Paul F. Clark, Penn State University
  • Ann C. Frost, Western University, Ontario
  • Jody Hoffer Gitell, Brandeis University
  • Bob Hebdon, McGill University
  • Harry C. Katz, Cornell University
  • Jeffrey H. Keefe, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • John Paul MacDuffie, University of Pennsylvania
  • Frits K. Pil, University of Pittsburgh
  • Richard A. Posthuma, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Howard R. Stanger, Canisius College
  • Andrew von Nordenflycht, Simon Fraser University
  • C. Jeffrey Waddoups, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


[+]  Adapted from previously posted article for The Global Labour Movement: An Introduction: A short guide to the global union federations, the ITUC, and other international bodies. Edited by Edd Mustill.  New notes will be posted after we finish reading the book.


[last updated 19:53 CDT 14 APR 2015]