Back to the Future? US Labour in the New Gilded Age

21 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2013

See all articles by Ruth Milkman

Ruth Milkman

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology

Date Written: December 2013

Abstract

This article argues that the twenty‐first century US labour movement has increasingly come to resemble its counterpart in the Gilded Age 100 years ago. Starting in the 1970s, deindustrialization and deregulation have gradually undermined the New Deal labour relations system, and have led to the proliferation of precarious labour. The labour movement then began to experiment with alternative labour organizing strategies and increasingly sought out political alliances with other progressive movements, reproducing practices that were widespread among US unions prior to the New Deal era. Although many of these experiments have succeeded on a small scale, they face intransigent opposition from employers and anti‐union organizations, and whether they can be expanded enough to generate a new labour movement upsurge remains to be seen.

Suggested Citation

Milkman, Ruth, Back to the Future? US Labour in the New Gilded Age (December 2013). British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 51, Issue 4, pp. 645-665, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2351620 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjir.12047

Ruth Milkman (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States
310-206-5215 (Phone)

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