cover image Confessions of a Union Buster

Confessions of a Union Buster

Martin Jay Levitt, Marty Levitt, Terry C. Toczynski. Crown Publishers, $25 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-517-58330-2

With compelling vigor and rich detail, Levitt, writing with freelancer Conrow, tells the tale of his rise to union-busting fame from 1969-1988 and his equally dramatic change of heart. Now a consultant advising unions on how to bust the union busters, Levitt says that he is baring his sins both for personal reasons and so that former colleagues will have nothing further with which to discredit him. He portrays himself and his fellow union busters as cynical and contemptuous of workers who try to organize. Using manipulation and propaganda, the busters wear down the union organizers. Levitt's union busters are repulsively slick, preying on the fears and purses of the companies that hire them. The details of Levitt's descent into alcoholism seem prosaic compared to the descriptions of the many union avoidance campaigns he masterminded, even if it was 12-step remorse and humility that provided the motivation for this confessional. His bold story is timely, given current national efforts to reform labor laws. (Sept.)