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Abstract

[Excerpt] "If Steven Spielberg were to make a movie on how the building trades are using their pension funds to create work for their members, the film would be called Capital Wars and Dennis Walton would play the part of Han Solo," says Randy Barber, union advisor and director of the Washington-based Center on Economic Organizing.

It's been ten years since Barber co-authored with Jeremy Rifkin the eye-opening expose The North Will Rise Again: Pensions, Politics, and Power in the 1980's, which became a best- seller in the labor movement. Since that time, trade unionists have become increasingly aware that if they sit idly by and let others manage the $1.3 trillion of union-negotiated pension funds, unions will in effect be financing their own destruction. Dennis Walton has become one of the most visible proponents in the labor movement of using this pension money as a weapon to further the union cause.

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