Labor has lost its best tactics, which helps explain its decline.
Aug 19, 2011
(Flickr/Kheel Center, Cornell University)Strikers during the 1933 Dressmakers' Union strike take a break in a diner.
Nearly 3 million workers went on strike in the United States in 1952. In 2008, fewer than 100,000 did. In his new book, Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America, veteran union negotiator Joe Burns writes that American strikes have changed from "a means to bring economic pressure to bear" to "a weak form of moral witness." He argues that the decline in the frequency and efficacy of strikes is a cause, not a consequence, of the decline of the American labor movement. The Prospect spoke with Burns about what's changed, who's responsible, and what labor should do about it.
Is the strike sick?