LABOR TODAY by B. J. Widick


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Sympathetic criticisms of the trade union movement now abound, some couched in terms which will offend no one, with the possible exception of James R. Hoffa (and even he has been bafflingly described as an ""enigma""). The virtue of this book is its out-spoken attitude toward those people and practices which constitute much of labor's internal difficulties. (It is symptomatic of labor's malady that the author hesitates to name some people in the movement who helped him with the book though he himself is far from being an outsider.) Labor Today deals with three general areas: labor's biggest problem- automation; its decline as a major force, politically and morally; some labor leaders-- Hoffa, Lewis, Reuther and Meany. Widick's criticisms are many-- corruption, discrimination, bureaucracy, status-seeking, but he claims to be only stating what all unionists already know. Basically he feels that unions cannot function as though they were merely businesses and that the philosophy of business is much too shallow for a ""non-profits"", ""do-good"" movement. In retrospect the book's subtitle ""The Triumphs and Failures of Unionism in the U.S."" seems simply a palliative.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1963
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin