American Labor Unions in the Electoral Arena by Herbert B. Asher, Eric S. Heberlig, Randall B. Ripley

By Herbert B. Asher, Eric S. Heberlig, Randall B. Ripley

Are modern U.S. exertions unions beside the point, or in truth a altering strength to be reckoned with as they develop right into a new economic climate in a globalized the USA? Is the present political energy exercised by way of U.S. exertions unions extra reminiscent of the social routine of the sixties or the curiosity politics of the nineties? After successful the presidency of the AFL-CIO in 1995, John Sweeney and his colleagues have taken strides to make exertions extra vital within the usa economically and politically, regardless of decreased club. right here, 4 authors come jointly to survey the prestige of work unions previous, current, and destiny, nationally in addition to in the course of the microcosm of the hard work state of affairs in Ohio, one of many greatest, so much consultant, and so much electorally major states within the country.
The authors specialize in union club, management, political attitudes, techniques, and grassroots mobilization to color an image of union revitalization in a context of financial and social switch. American hard work nonetheless wields clout on Election Day, yet union revitalization is a piece in growth. For unions to subject on a daily basis to their individuals and leaders, they need to consolidate their fiscal bases and upward push to the demanding situations rigorously documented during this booklet.

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The first category involves elections. Most of these are general elections and may involve any of the roughly fifteen thousand offices filled by election in the United States. Less frequently they involve primary elections for some of these offices. They may also involve referenda on policy questions—that is, elections on issues. The second most visible broad category of political activity is lobbying: efforts to persuade a legislative body—Congress, state legislature, city council, or county commission—to pass or defeat specific legislative provisions.

By 1996 the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences had established the Center for Survey Research, which built on and subsumed the survey expertise of the Polimetrics Lab. That Center conducted the 1996 survey. We thank Paul Lavrakas, center director at that time, and his colleagues for their careful work on that survey. Among our academic colleagues at Ohio State, one stands out as particularly helpful: Bill Form, a distinguished sociologist who has done fine work Page xiii on unions for many decades, was a generous colleague in many ways.

Eric Heberlig joined the project in time to play a central role in designing, implementing, and analyzing the Ohio surveys we did after the 1994 and 1996 elections. He also played a major role in obtaining grants to continue Page xii the project and reported to the agency that gave the grants [see below]. In designing and executing his dissertation research, he did extensive interviewing of union leaders, both in Ohio and in Washington. These interviews were a vital source of qualitative data for the book.

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