Publication Date

Spring 1989


This paper summarizes two successful clerical organizing campaigns. The first case describes the District 65 campaign to gain representation rights and contract protection for the clerical employees of Columbia University. The discussion reviews the tactics employed to win a representation election, to maintain rank and file involvement during an extended legal battle, and to conduct a successful strike for a first contract. The second case describes a campaign by Teamsters Local 364 to achieve recognition and bargaining rights for public school secretaries in South Bend, Ind. Already members of an employee association, the secretaries sought to affiliate with the Teamsters in order to engage in collective bargaining. The discussion reviews how the local union and the rank and file organized the community to force the school board to grant bargaining rights. Based on the cases, lessons are drawn for other unions regarding external organizing, internal organizing, public relations, coalition building, and involving women members in local union activities.


Suggested Citation
Hurd, R. W. (1989). Learning from clerical unions: Two cases of organizing success [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
© SAGE. Final version published as: Hurd, R. W. (1989). Learning from clerical unions: Two cases of organizing success. Labor Studies Journal, 14(1), 30-51. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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