Labor in the New Urban Battlegrounds examines a diverse array of innovative strategies for revitalizing the labor movement by forming alliances outside the workplace with a variety of community groups, social movements, and faith-based organizations, particularly those that address civil rights, immigrant rights, and consumer concerns. This book presents case studies of issues—such as living wages, community development corporations, and local politics—around which urban coalitions are built in "union towns" (New York City, Boston, Buffalo, and Seattle), "frontier cities" (Los Angeles, Miami, San Jose, and Nashville), and European cities (London, Frankfurt, and Hamburg).
Introducing the role of urban social context in the field of labor revitalization, the editors have chosen cases with different outcomes—cities in which strong coalitions have enabled new union influence are contrasted with those in which such coalition building has been thwarted. As they survey the successes and failures of the new urban labor movement, the editors and contributors conclude that actor choice, strategic innovation, coalition building, and the urban context of labor organizing are key elements in the revitalization of the labor movement and the renewal of democracy. This book will allow the labor leaders of the future to learn from the recent experiences of their peers throughout the United States and Europe.