The U.S. trade union movement finds itself today on a global battlefield filled with landmines and littered with the bodies of various social movements and struggles. Candid, incisive, and accessible, Solidarity Divided is a critical examination of labor’s current crisis and a plan for a bold new way forward into the twenty-first century. Bill Fletcher and Fernando Gapasin, two longtime union insiders whose experiences as activists of color grant them a unique vantage on the problems now facing U.S. labor, offer a remarkable mix of vivid history and probing analysis. They chart changes in U.S. manufacturing, examine the onslaught of globalization, consider the influence of the environment on labor, and provide the first broad analysis of the fallout from the 2000 and 2004 elections on the U.S. labor movement. Ultimately calling for a wide-ranging reexamination of the ideological and structural underpinnings of today’s labor movement, this is essential reading for understanding how the battle for social justice can be fought and won.
"Anyone concerned with the struggles of America's working people is going to be fascinated by this rare, insiders' look at the external forces and internal fumblings that have so drastically weakened the labor movement. Both in its sweeping analysis and priceless reportage, Solidarity Divided is a deeply illuminating book and a solid argument for why our unions need to reclaim their historic heritage as a militant, grassroots movement."--Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed"
"Bill Fletcher and Fernando Gapasin have put together a hard-hitting analysis of the crisis facing organized labor. But this is not just something for people involved in unions. If we are to build a movement for social justice then we must confront the issues that they are raising."--Danny Glover
"This is an extraordinarily important and provocative reflection on the limitations of self-reform and reinvention within the American labor movement. The authors provide readers with a unique first-hand view of internal debates, personalities, and decision-making processes but also use their intimate knowledge of union culture and carefully narrated case studies to transcend mere stone-throwing. This book is unlikely to be matched by any other journalistic account or memoir.... A landmark in all debates about 'what next' for labor."--Mike Davis, author of Prisoners of the American Dream
"There are few writers and activists whom I would rather read on the recent past, the present and the future of the labor movement than Fernando Gapasin and William Fletcher. This is an especially accessible and balanced exploration of recent efforts at community unionism, international solidarity, coalition with nonunion workers and empowerment of immigrants. Above all this is far and away the best argument for the importance of central labor unions that I have read."--David R. Roediger, author of Working Toward Whiteness
"This is a very valuable work, well-written and useful to union activists and students of working-class life and history alike. Fletcher and Gapasin have performed a public service of high quality by bringing into the national conversation an enlightened focus on labor and its relation to other sectors of the population, seeking to reinvigorate and enlarge our democracy. This book is 'a star to steer by' as we move through troubled waters in a dark time, confident that in our substantive unity of purpose, we can and shall overcome."--Jack O'Dell, former associate editor, Freedomways magazine/