Upheaval in the Quiet Zone: 1199SEIU and the Politics of Health Care Unionism

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University of Illinois Press, 2009 - Medical - 366 pages
This new second edition updates the dramatic story of 1199SEIU, an insurgent labor union that eventually established itself as a vital force in the modern labor movement. When SEIU president Andrew Stern laid plans in 2006 for a new national health care workers union that would both reach out to the unorganized and campaign for universal, national health insurance, he turned to 1199 president Dennis Rivera--and the 1199 political model--to lead the effort. With new material that updates the union's history since the 1990s, this book conveys the promise and problems of movement-building in the twenty-first century health care industry.

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The history of US labor cannot be understood without knowing the history of 1199 in the 20th century. 1199 fought racism since 1934, fought against war and contributed many female organizers throughout the country. The iconoclastic and brilliant leadership of many grass roots, mid level and executive organizers cumulatively affected the direction unions would take, providing political as well as material demands and the ideology "organizing never stops." This is one of the few books devoted to 1199's history and complex mission.  

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About the author (2009)

Leon Fink is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Brian Greenberg is Jules L. Plangere Jr. Chair of American Social History at Monmouth University.

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