When the rubber hits the high road: Labor and community complexities in the greening of the Garden State

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Abstract

This article is an exploration of challenges faced by building and construction trade unions as they seek to enter the green jobs sector through the lens of the Eastern Region of the Laborers Union. This article is also motivated by an interest in extending the literature on community unionism by asking how and in what ways specifically coalition participation impacts labor's ability to organize and in this case enter the green jobs sector successfully. Although this work is not a full matched pair analysis, the author contrasts the Laborers' strategy to the efforts of Community Labor United in Massachusetts. While organizations in both states were responding to a similar set of conditions, they ended up choosing divergent paths. The author concludes that much of the failure of the Laborers strategy in New Jersey is due to the union's decision to go it alone in their efforts to organize the residential weatherization sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-161
Number of pages40
JournalLabor Studies Journal
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • coalitions
  • community unionism
  • green jobs
  • residential weatherization

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