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THIS EDITION OF the free bulletin, World Wide Work, is published by the American Labor Education Center, an independent nonprofit founded in 1979.
WORLD WIDE WORK - February 2005
*Bad Connection: How Labor Fails to Communicate is a discussion of how unions can communicate more effectively to build public support and involve members. The article describes some revealing research about attitudes of the public and of union members.  It appears in the new edition of New Labor Forum and can be found online at www.TheWorkSite.org.
*Final countdown in labor's debate.  Only days remain until March 1-3 meeting of AFL-CIO Executive Council that could decide the federation's future.  Leading up to decision time, SEIU's Andy Stern is providing a new series of commentaries at UniteToWinBlog.org giving his view of the key issues and what they mean to working families. The blog gives readers a chance to add uncensored comments, and the site makes available new position papers by other unions such as the UAW and Postal Workers as well.
*Environmentalists' debate.  While unions are debating strategy, environmentalists are too.  See for example a paper called "The Death of Environmentalism": ( http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/01/13/doe-reprint/) and a rebuttal by the Sierra Club's Carl Pope: ( http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/01/13/pope-reprint/)
*Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart by Liza Featherstone (Basic Books).  If you have a general concern that the practices of the nation's largest employer are hurting workers and communities, this book featuring Wal-Mart workers' own stories will make you realize the situation is even worse than you thought.
*Diamond: A Struggle for Environmental Justice in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor by Steve Lerner (MIT Press).  A classic example of the intersection of the civil rights and environmental movements as a black community that was excluded from jobs at two Shell plants but not from the pollution Shell produced gained national and international allies to win relocation to other homes.
*Globalization and Cross-Border Labor Solidarity in the Americas by Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval (Routledge).  Uses four case studies of international anti-sweatshop campaigns to openly discuss strategic debates and tensions among various student, union, and solidarity groups.
*Bound for Freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America by Douglas Flamming (Univ. of Calif.).  Many African Americans from the South headed for Los Angeles in the half century before World War II, hoping, like other migrants before them, to find freedom and opportunity.  This is the story of what they found.
*Espejos y Ventanas/Mirros and Windows: Oral Histories of Mexican Farmworkers and Their Families edited by Mark Lyons and August Tarrier (New City Community Press).  Interviews with immigrant families in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania - "mushroom capital of the world."
*Troublemakers Handbook 2 edited by Jane Slaughter (Labor Notes Books).  A new edition that provides more than 350 pages of real-life stories and practical advice on virtually every aspect of union activity.
*Making Steel: Sparrows Point and the Rise and Ruin of American Industrial Might by Mark Reutter (Univ. of Illinois).  A new chapter updates a 1988 book on how management decisions ran the U.S. steel industry into the ground.
*What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America by Thomas Frank (Metropolitan).  A journalist returns to his home state to describe for coastal urbanites how the right has used cultural resentments to get working class whites to vote against their economic interests.
*The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey: Unearthing the Origins of Monkeys, Apes, and Humans by Chris Beard (Univ. of Calif.)  An account for lay people of two centuries of discoveries shedding light on humans' evolutionary history.
*I See Hawks in L.A. 
(Western Seeds).  An innovative band that falls somewhere between country and bluegrass.  Perhaps the only group in the country that performs a song about Senator Byrd of West Virginia.  Have issued two CDs: one with the same name as the group, another called "Grapevine."
Free tools for effective grassroots organizing and communication, as well as back issues of World Wide Work, are available at TheWorkSite.org
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