The Betrayal of Local 14: Paperworkers, Politics, and Permanent Replacements

Julius Getman, Author Cornell University Press $49.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8014-3476-1
When paper workers in Jay, Maine, Lock Haven, Pa., and DePere, Wis., went on strike against International Paper in 1987, the issues seemed so clear-cut that they could not imagine defeat. IP, the richest paper company in the world and the largest landowner in the U.S., was making demands that seemed outrageous: at the Androscoggin Mill in Maine, for example, IP wanted to eliminate time-and-a-half for Sunday hours. And in a giveback worthy of Scrooge, IP wanted to force workers to labor 365 days a year, relinquishing their Christmas holiday. Law professor Getman focuses on paper workers' Local 14, the Androscoggin union, and offers a brilliant, layered exegesis of their ultimately unsuccessful 17-month struggle. Dozens of workers, as well as IP management and representatives of both the local and international unions, speak throughout the text. The result is a well-researched journalistic account of one labor battle that sheds light on a plethora of larger themes: the strategic use of strikes; the effectiveness of corporate campaigns; the battles between local unions and large, bureaucratic internationals; the impact of a strike on every facet of community life; and the current state of the labor movement. While Getman clearly poses IP as the workers' major foe, he gives needed attention to the international union's lack of material and political support for the local. A call to arms for union democratization and a focused look at antilabor laws that allow hiring ""permanent replacements,"" Getman's book is an extremely readable, insightful look at the plight of workers throughout the U.S. 15 b&w photos. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998
Release date: 05/01/1998
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-8014-8628-9
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