Article Title

Job Wars at Fort Wayne


[Excerpt] Several international unions and the national AFL-CIO have developed sophisticated proposals calling for an "industrial policy" which would utilize a business-government-labor structure for planning national economic activities. Yet to be developed, however, are any guidelines for labor's participation in local economic development activities.

Since 1982 Fort Wayne, Indiana, has pioneered what is being touted as one of the most aggressive and successful economic development programs in the country. An economic development consulting firm, the Fantus Company, was used to organize the business community around an agenda designed to weaken labor and encourage a series of job wars with other communities. A careful examination of the Fort Wayne Strategy reveals a program that is subtly yet deeply anti-union, anti-worker, and not in the long-run interests of the people of Fort Wayne. A review of the Fort Wayne Strategy and local labor's response can provide valuable lessons for the labor movement across the country.