"They're bankrupting us!" : and 20 other myths about unions

by Jr. Bill Fletcher

Paper Book, 2012


From Wisconsin to Washington, DC, the claims are made: unions are responsible for budget deficits, and their members are overpaid and enjoy cushy benefits. The only way to save the American economy, pundits claim, is to weaken the labor movement, strip workers of collective bargaining rights, and champion private industry. In ""They're Bankrupting Us!": And 20 Other Myths about Unions, "labor leader Bill Fletcher Jr. makes sense of this debate as he unpacks the twenty-one myths most often cited by anti-union propagandists. Drawing on his experiences as a longtime labor activist and organizer, Fletcher traces the historical roots of these myths and provides an honest assessment of the missteps of the labor movement. He reveals many of labor's significant contributions, such as establishing the forty-hour work week and minimum wage, guaranteeing safe workplaces, and fighting for equity within the workforce. This timely, accessible, "warts and all" book argues, ultimately, that unions are necessary for democracy and ensure economic and social justice for all people.… (more)



Call number




Boston : Beacon Press, c2012.

User reviews

LibraryThing member MarcyWinograd
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the history of the union movement in the United States, with a critical look at organized labor's traditional support for the status quo, including the Democratic Party (as opposed to a labor party). Though Fletcher's book is not a panacea for the
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widespread abrogation of workers' rights, it does send a message that resonates; organized labor needs to focus on a) solidarity between unions, as well as unions with other social movements b) recruitment of ordinary people, not in a specific bargaining unit, to be affiliated union members in a way that is meaningful and productive. Fletcher's style is conversational; his tone pragmatic. My high school students would benefit from reading a chapter from this book, as few understand the dynamics of community and labor organizing. We need to teach our youth from an early age what it means to exercise their voice and their power.
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LibraryThing member phlll
I'm not a union guy. Mainly because I'd heard several of the "myths" presented in this book growing up, and because unions that I've been compelled to join throughout my life have been particularly ineffectual.

But this book is really good. It successfully tears down a lot of the untruths that are
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out there, and additionally points out that some of the beliefs about unions (such as corruption) do exist on some level (and that is intolerable.)

This book would be recommendable for you (or someone you know) especially if they/you are politically conservative but also open-minded and receptive to other viewpoints.
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