An in-depth comparison of U.S. and Canadian economic restructuring

The Challenge of Restructuring

North American Labor Movements Respond

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edited by Jane Jenson and Rianne Mahon

In this volume, political scientists, sociologists, lawyers, specialists in labor relations, economists, and unionists from Canada and the United States address the future of labor-management relations in two economies that are undergoing fundamental economic restructuring. The Challenge of Restructuring discusses how labor should respond to "restructuring," a euphemistic term for the economic squeeze on workers for givebacks to avoid plant closings and for the business efforts to abolish union workforces.




1. Introduction: North American Labor: Divergent Trajectories – Jane Jenson and Rianne Mahon

Part I: Two Decades of Restructuring and Political Change
2. Economistic Unionism in Crisis: The Origins, Consequences, and Prospects of Divergence in Labor Movement Characteristics – Ian Robinson
3. Don't Worry, Be Happy: The Postwar Decline of Private-Sector Unionism in the United States – Joel Rogers
4. Legacies for Canadian Labor of Two Decades of Crisis – Jane Jenson and Rianne Mahon
5. Unionism in a Different Context: The Case of Quebec – Gérard Hébert

Part II: The Political and Legal Context of Trade Union Action
6. Cooperation for What? The Democratic-Labor Alliance in the Reagan-Bush Era – Richard Valelly
7. Labor, the New Democratic Party, and the 1988 Federal Election – Elaine Bernard
8. An Uneasy Alliance: The Parti Québécois and the Unions – A. Brian Tanquay
9. State Structures and the Processing of Unfair Labor Practice Cases in the United States and Canada – Peter G. Bruce

Part III: The Challenge of a Changing Labor Force
10. Unionism in the Private Service Sector: A Canada-U.S. Comparison – Noah Meltz
11. Union Responses to Workforce Feminization in the United States – Ruth Milkman
12. One Union Responds: The Case of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers – Julie White
13. Recognizing the Working Mother: The Quebec Labor Movement and the Feminization of the Labor Force – Céline Saint-Pierre

Part IV: Workplace Restructuring: Company Unionism or Industrial Democracy?
14. Recent Innovations in Labor-Management Relations: The Risks and Prospects for Labor in Canada and the United States – Don Wells
15. Whither Social Unionism? Labor and Restructuring in the U.S. Auto Industry – Stephen Herzenberg
16. Curtains or Encore: Possibilities of Restructuring in the Canadian Auto Industry – Charlotte Freeman

Part V: The Future: Strategic Continuity or Change?
17. What does the Future Hold for U.S. Unionism? – Richard Freeman
18. Capitalist Restructuring and the Canadian Labor Movement – Donald Swartz
19. Quebec Labor, Politics, and the Economic Crisis: Defensive Accommodation Faces the Future – Carla Lipsig-Mummé

About the Contributors


About the Author(s)

Jane Jenson is Professor of Political Science at Carleton University.

Rianne Mahon is a Professor in the School of Public Administration at Carleton University.

Contributors: Elaine Bernard, Peter G. Bruce, Charlotte Freeman, Gérard Hébert, Stephen Herzenberg, Carla Lipsig-Mummé, Noah Meltz, Ian Robinson, Joel Rogers, Céline Saint-Pierre, Donald Swartz, A. Brian Tanquay, Richard Valelly, Don Wells, Julie White, and the editors.

Subject Categories

Labor Studies and Work
Political Science and Public Policy

In the series

Labor and Social Change, edited by Paula Rayman and Carmen Sirianni.

Labor and Social Change, edited by Paula Rayman and Carmen Sirianni, includes books on workplace issues like worker participation, quality of work life, shorter hours, technological change, and productivity, as well as union and community organizing and ethnographies of particular occupations.



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