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Knocking on Labor's DoorUnion Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide$
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Lane Windham

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469632070

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469632070.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Knocking on Labor's Door

Lane Windham

University of North Carolina Press

This introductory chapter is about how historians have overlooked a wave of private-sector union organizing efforts in the 1970s. These efforts were led by the women and people of color who had gained new access to the nation’s best jobs following the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and who transformed the U.S. working class. This book uses National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election records to show that an average of half a million workers a year went through NLRB elections in the 1970s. The fact that workers increasingly lost those elections due to weak labor law fed the nation’s new economic divide.

Keywords:   union organizing, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), working class, collective bargaining, 1970s, 1964 Civil Rights Act

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