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Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America
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Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  7 reviews
If the American labor movement is to rise again, it will not be as a result of electing different politicians, the passage of legislation, or improved methods of union organizing. Rather, workers will need to rediscover the power of the strike. Not the ineffectual strike of today, where employees meekly sit on picket lines waiting for scabs to take their jobs, but the type...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by Ig Publishing (first published May 1st 2011)
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This book is a great manifesto for renewing working class power. I'm not sure if Joe Burns would agree with the classification. He never calls it a manifesto and he foregoes the flourishes associated with the form.

It's not a history of the strike, though it gives a sketch of the history to draw lessons about the strike's importance then and relevance today. It's not a book on labor law either. But Burns adeptly steers the reader through the legislation and cases that shaped what he calls "the sy...more
This is an amazing book. Though it is rife with typos, if you can overlook minor errors of spelling, the message comes through loud and clear. This should be a must read for anyone doing 'social change' work or activism, but especially for labor activists and leftists. In a few short pages, Burns gives an illuminating overview of labor history but all to support his main points: that in order to regain strength, the labor movement needs to reclaim the use of production-halting strikes and workpl...more
Sep 25, 2013 B rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, westend
This is a very good book because it brought an argument to me that I do not see very often. I have obviously heard that Taft-Hartley is, to put it mildly, not good for organized labor. I have not heard the same complaints raised about the Wagner Act.

This book argues that everything about the modern labor system harms organized labor because physical massive strikes with secondary strikes are the only way to get benefits for labor. Only by actively harming a business, which means physical control...more
Essential reading. Very clear & straight-forward. Makes a compelling case for the need for workers to figure out how to conduct effective, production halting strikes if the labor movement is to be revived. If you look at the history of the American labor movement, it has grown and declined in cycles. The "normal" condition has actually been a situation of decline. The decade of the '20s was similar to the present period...decline in union membership, few strikes, rising income inequality, gr...more
I wish I could give this book 3.75 starts. I think it's a book that deserves to be debated widely around the labor movement. It's the kind of book rank-and-file need to be reading and debating and using to challenge their local leadership. I think Burns at times comes across as viewing the strike as a kind of panacea for all that ails the modern labor movement, and I think he is a bit too dismissive of the need for labor to try to adopt some new tactics in response to changing structural conditi...more
Bob Simpson
Joe Burns gets right down to business. Without the strike, unions might as well pack up and go home now. Today unions are entangled in a web of bad legislation and worse legal decisions that eviscerated the Wagner Act and resulted in atrocities like Taft-Hartley. Time to get back to basics with mass picketlines and industry-wide strikes in the context of global workers solidarity. Easier said then done, but the longer we put it off, the harder it's going to be,

excellent. grim but I think he is right. Read it in two days....
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