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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Monday, June 27, 2005 ::

    Can Rebels Revive the Labor Movement? - By Nelson Lichtenstein, Los Angeles Times
    Under the leadership of the hawkish George Meany — some may remember the scowl and the big cigar — the AFL-CIO in the 1950s and 1960s became a sleepy monopoly, and a not-so-liberal establishment at that.

    Many unions stopped organizing and others proved indifferent to the civil rights and feminist movements. When the globalization of manufacturing and the rise of a militant anti-labor conservatism struck the union heartland, the AFL-CIO could not mount an effective response.

    Stern and his associates know this history well. Can they play the spark-plug role of Lewis and Hillman? Or will they merely replicate the more recent, ineffectual history of so many other unionists, like those who have led United Auto Workers, the Teamsters and the Carpenters. Each of these unions quit the AFL-CIO in dramatic fashion but failed to stir the working-class soul or recruit a new generation of unionists.
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