Why the Labor Movement Is Not Just Another Protest Movement – as featured in Working in These Times

SEIU volunteers review paperwork at the United Steelworkers building in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“The goal isn’t to enroll the people behind those doors in a conventional union” notes Meyerson, “but, rather, into a mass organization of the unemployed and the underpaid that can turn out votes in 2012 and act as an ongoing pressure group for job creation and worker rights during (presumably) Barack Obama’s second term.”

Like SEIU, an increasing number of union activists and theorists are looking to center union strategy far from the workplace. Rather than relying on the traditional union tactics of organizing, collective bargaining and political action, many trade unionists are instead focusing on protests against corporate targets and community organizing. Such actions get members into the streets to directly confront corporate profiteers and allow unions to organize around broad-based themes.

Continue reading this article featured in Working in These Times by Joe Burns on 6/27/11.