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In every case the spread of the strikes was due to the initiative of workers, not union leaders. “The Great Upheaval grew out of workers’ intuitive sense that they needed each other, had each other’s support and together were powerful.” When the Upheaval began, with a railroad strike in Pittsburgh, “The Trainmen’s Union had nothing to do with the start of the strike. Its top leader, Robert Ammon, had left Pittsburgh … and the president of the Pittsburgh Division didn’t even know that trouble was at hand; he slept late that morning, didn’t hear about the strike until nearly noon his first comment was ‘impossible’ and then he busied himself persuading his colleagues to go home and keep out of trouble.,” Similarly, “In the strikes of the early 1970s union and management officials often appeared as partners trying to devise a formula and a strategy to get the workers back to work and keep them there. As The New York Times wrote of a July 1971 telephone strike, “Union and management … were manifestly less concerned about any real differences between them and about how to fashion an agreement that would satisfy the inflated expectations of a restless union rank and file.” Brecher’s stories are interesting and exciting, his prose colorful, his quotes well chosen. It is impossible to read Strike! without developing a deeper understanding of the tension between union members and their leaders during periods of industrial strife. Why are union leaders so rarely supportive of mass strikes? Brecher doesn’t really explain, but his book suggests two reasons that often work in tandem. First, union leaders often become detached from their members. Their day-to-day lives and working conditions become different from those of the members, and as a result they no longer share their members’ frustration and anger. Second, union leaders are more likely to anticipate, and become the victims of, the economic and legal reprisals that major strikes frequently bring on. As Brecher shows, employers have been able to defeat strikes and get rid of unions by exercising their right to hire permanent replacement workers, and by invoking the power of government to punish strikers and their leaders for acts of misconduct that inevitably take place in a major strike. The range of penalties that might be imposed on strikers and unions by employers, courts, and government is wide. Major strikes have been responded to by martial law, criminal indictments, fines, and military action. Strikes and picketing have been enjoined. Strikers have been fired; unions have been fined and subjected to damages. Union leaders have been arrested, jailed, and convicted of crimes for encouraging violence, sometimes with very little evidence of personal misconduct. Historically, when workers have been most unified and dedicated, the response by employers and officials has been the most powerful. Union leaders aware of the risks posed by strikes have generally urged caution, often seeking to prevent strikes, or to limit them to situations in which the goals are narrow and the target of the strike might decide that compromise made more sense than conflict. Such caution is one of the reasons that unions and their rank and file members are frequently divided about tactics and goals. The first edition of Strike! concluded with the strikes of the Vietnam era, during which “the number of work ers striking and the number of work days lost to strikes reached the highest level in the past half century.” The current edition adds a chapter, “American Labor on the Eve of the Millennium,” in which the author discusses the current state of the labor movement, and ongoing efforts to revitalize unions. He briefly describes significant recent strikes and organizing efforts. I found Brecher’s discussion of the contemporary situation less compelling than his treatment of earlier periods. Not that Brecher is uninformed. He discusses most of the significant strikes of the eighties and nineties, and mentions most of the new techniques, such as corporate campaigns, labor-community coalitions, and insidegame tactics, developed by unions to supplement or replace the strike. He describes briefly the Local P-9 meatpackers’ strike in Austin, Minnesota in 1984, the Pittston coal strike of ’88-’89, the Justice for Janitors campaign in Los Angeles, the Yale clerical organizing drive and strike, the Staley and Caterpillar Tractor strikes in the nineties. He makes several references to the strike by Paperworkers Local 14 in Jay, Maine. Unfortunately, his discussions are too brief to give the reader any sense of the strengths and limits of the tactics or an understanding of the dynamics of most of the strikes he describes. For example, Brecher does not point out that the inside game makes workers vulnerable to discharge, and also gives management the right to unilaterally implement its contract demands. A fuller discussion of Staley could have pointed out how similar its dynamics were to the earlier strike against International Paper by UPIU locals in Jay, Maine; Lockhaven, Pennsylvania; and Depere, Wisconsin; and how the International Union’s actions were shaped in part by distrust of Ray Rogers, who in each case was conducting a corporate campaign at the instance of local leaders who were pleased with his work. Brecher does not convey the great imagination with which the Yale clerical strike was conducted. Nor does he point out the wise strategy of the union’s organizers, led by John Wilhelm, to make sure that the local leaders were recognized as the voice of the union. I was at Yale during that period and played a minor role in support of the strike. The emergence of rank and file leadership and orators was inspiring and crucial to the strike’s ultimate success. Brecher mentions but does not really discuss the strike against International Paper by Local 14 in Jay, Maine, which was remarkable for the development of local leaders and the use of various imaginative tactics. The Caterpillar strike also deserves a more complete treatment to explain why a union as powerful as the U.A.W. ran so unimaginative a strike. Yet despite Brecher’ s failure to achieve the same high level in his additional researches as he did in the first edition, Strike! remains a book well worth reading for anyone interested in labor, and in the struggles of the union movement to revitalize itself. Regents’ Professor of Law, U.T.Austin, is active nationwide in the union movement, and has published several books on labor and labor history. His new book, The Betrayal of Local 14, is forthcoming from ILR FEBRUARY 27, 1998 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27