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Searching for the New Labour Movement

This new course examines the various attempts to revitalize the labour movement in North America through the development of new strategies and organizational forms. In particular, the course will explore critiques of the post-war model of unionism and labour relations; debates around the need for and meaning of union renewal; the rise of reform movements inside existing unions aimed at fostering deeper membership participation; the use of mergers as a means to consolidate resources; the development of alternative strategies for organizing new union locals, particularly in the private service sector; the use of workplace organizing strategies that remain outside the legal framework (through forms of non-majority unionism); and the spread of non-union workers' organizations such as worker centres. Students will assess the promise and pitfalls of these renewal strategies, placing them in the context of the economic and political changes that, since the 1970s, have eroded the traditional bases of union power.


Unit(s): 3.0 Level(s): Graduate Term(s): Winter Offered?: Yes Language?: No

Stephanie Ross

Associate Professor