Punching Out

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by Martin Glaberman

Black Cat Press

2012

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Martin Glaberman's classic but hard-to-find pamphlet is an authoritative statement about the merits of direct action in workplace organizing. Writing in the context of the Detroit auto industry in the 1950s, Glaberman shows that the complaint that unions don't represent the interests of the rank-and-file is nothing new. He also explains why. Tracing the evolution of labour organizing from the early 20th century through the depression, World War II, and the New Deal, Glaberman demonstrates why business unions always tend towards helping owners avoid labour unrest, whereas direct action remains the most effective way of changing dynamics in the workplace and wresting control over one's own work.

Written in plain language and sprinkled with inspiring anecdotes, Punching Out is a significant text by an invaluable writer and organizer.