Publication Date

November 2007


[Excerpt] Agency (the choices made and strategies pursued by leaders and organizations) and opportunity structure (the presence or absence of institutional, political, and/or social barriers)—are the two factors that seem to account for the revitalization of city-based labor movements in several locales, such as Seattle, Buffalo, Los Angeles, and San Jose; European unions have not progressed quite as far in this regard. Rather than focus exclusively on traditional workplace issues, unions active in contemporary urban labor movements are forging coalitions with other actors in civil society and mobilizing grassroots participation in union campaigns as well as in the democratic process.


Suggested Citation
Turner, L. (2007). Labor branches out: Resurgence in the urban core (Impact Brief #23). Ithaca, NY: School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University.

For a more in-depth analysis, please see: Turner, L. (2007). Introduction: An Urban Resurgence of Social Unionism. In L. Turner & D. B. Cornfield (Eds.) Labor in the new urban battlegrounds: Local solidarity in a global economy. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press.

The ILR Impact Brief series highlights the research and project based work conducted by ILR faculty that is relevant to workplace issues and public policy. The Briefs are prepared by Maralyn Edid, Senior Extension Associate, ILR School.

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Copyright by Cornell University.