Labor's Time: Shorter Hours, The Uaw, And The
The movement for a shorter workweek that once defined the labor movement in the United States was largely displaced by the new corporatist structure of organized labor in the post-New Deal era. Labor's Time examines the changes that occurred within organized labor and traces their influence on the decline of the shorter hours movement. Focusing on the internal union politics of the influential United Automobile Workers and Local 600, its chapter at Henry Ford's massive River Rouge factory, Jonathan Cutler demonstrates how an all-but-forgotten interracial movement for a shorter workweek during the 1950s and 1960s became a casualty of an increasingly top-heavy union bureaucracy that lost touch with the desires, fears, and aspirations of rank and file workers and dug its own grave in the process. Jonathan Cutler examines the political context in which the shorter hours movement emerged within Local 600 in the 1940s, then chronicles the attempts by Walter Reuther, the head of the UAW, to suppress it. Cutler also reviews the role the Communist Party played in the controversy. Finally, he documents the UAW response to rank and file pressure for a shorter workweek, and how the local's own organizational flaws allowed Reuther and the national union to wrest control from the dissidents. Fresh and boldly written, Labor's Time recreates a moment when unions—as a movement, not as an amalgam of leaders—could have transformed the landscape of work in the United States.
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30-hour week 40 hours 600 Elections ACTists African-American American Socialist Association of Catholic Atlantic City Auto Workers Business Week campaign Carl Stellato Catholic Trade Unionists challenge Committee Communists contract corporatist CP activists Daily Worker delegates Detroit Free Press dissident Fighting Program Ford Department Collection Ford Facts Ford Local 600 Fourteenth Convention Fox Collection Unprocessed Ganley Hogan HUAC Ibid incumbent industry January Labor Action labor movement layoffs leaders leadership March Meany membership Michigan State University Militant November October officers Pat Rice political president Proceedings rank and file rank-and-file red-baiting resolution Reuther administration Reuther caucus Reuther Collection Reutherites right wing right-wing Rouge Shachtmanites shorter hours movement shorter workweek shorter workweek demand slate Solidarity House Special Collections Division Stellato Stieber Thompson tion UAW convention UAW Ford Department UAW-CIO unit University Labor Archives victory vote Wage Earner Wall Street Journal Walter Reuther Wayne State University week with 40