America Needs a Raise: Fighting for Economic Security and Social Justice

John J. Sweeney, Author
John J. Sweeney, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-82300-2
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In a ringing manifesto, Sweeney, the new president of the AFL-CIO, argues that a rebuilt, revitalized U.S. labor movement could serve as the core of a larger progressive effort to redirect politics toward the basic issues facing us all: jobs, wages, pensions, health care, education and retraining. Americans, he contends, are working longer hours yet plunging deeper into debt because they no longer share in the gains of their growing productivity--a 24% jump since 1979. He also blames corporate ""downsizing,"" massive firings that have replaced millions of secure, well-paying, often union jobs with lower-paid or temporary labor. Sweeney sets forth a broad strategy: organize workers and win wage increases in entire industries. His clearly written, pithy book would have benefited from additional, specific proposals for both union and nonunion workers. (Sept.)
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