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Long hours, low wages, and unsafe workplaces characterized sweatshops a hundred years ago. These same conditions plague American trucking today. Sweatshops on Wheels: Winners and Losers in Trucking Deregulation exposes the dark side of government deregulation in America's interstate trucking industry. In the years since deregulation in 1980, median earnings have dropped 30% and most long-haul truckers earn less than half of pre-regulation wages. Work weeks average more than sixty hours. Today, America's long-haul truckers are working harder and earning less than at any time during the last four decades. Written by a former long-haul trucker who now teaches industrial relations at Wayne State University, Sweatshops on Wheels raises crucial questions about the legacy of trucking deregulation in America and casts provocative new light on the issue of government deregulation in general.
Following its publication in hardcover, the critically acclaimed Betrayal of Work became one of the most influential policy books about economic life in America; it was discussed in the pages of Newsweek, Business Week, Fortune, the Washington Post, Newsday, and USA Today, as well as in public policy journals and in broadcast interviews, including a one-on-one with Bill Moyers on PBS’s NOW. The American Prospect’s James K. Galbraith’s praise was typical: “Shulman’s slim and graceful book is a model combination of compelling portraiture, common sense, and understated conviction.” Beth Shulman’s powerfully argued book offers a full program to address the injustice faced by the 30 million Americans who work full time but do not make a living wage. As the influential Harvard Business School newsletter put it, Shulman “specifically outlines how structural changes in the economy may be achieved, thus expanding opportunities for all Americans.” This edition includes a new afterword that intervenes in the post-election debate by arguing that low-wage work is an urgent moral issue of our time.
Private-sector collective bargaining in the United States is under siege. Many factors have contributed to this situation, including the development of global markets, a continuing antipathy toward unions by managers, and the declining effectiveness of strikes. This volume examines collective bargaining in eight major industries—airlines, automobile manufacturing, health care, hotels and casinos, newspaper publishing, professional sports, telecommunications, and trucking—to gain insight into the challenges the parties face and how they have responded to those challenges.The authors suggest that collective bargaining is evolving differently across the industries studied. While the forces constraining bargaining have not abated, changes in the global environment, including new security considerations, may create opportunities for unions. Across the industries, one thing is clear—private-sector collective bargaining is rapidly changing.
Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels. The typical long-haul trucker works the equivalent of two full-time jobs, often for little more than minimum wage. But it wasn’t always this way. Trucking used to be one of the best working-class jobs in the United States. The Big Rig explains how this massive degradation in the quality of work has occurred, and how companies achieve a compliant and dedicated workforce despite it. Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months training and working as a long-haul trucker, Viscelli explains in detail how labor is recruited, trained, and used in the industry. He then shows how inexperienced workers are convinced to lease a truck and to work as independent contractors. He explains how deregulation and collective action by employers transformed trucking’s labor markets--once dominated by the largest and most powerful union in US history--into an important example of the costs of contemporary labor markets for workers and the general public.
The term "technological fix" should mean a fix provided by technology--a solution for all of our problems, from medicine and food production to the environment and business. Instead, technological fix has come to mean a cheap, quick fix using inappropriate technology that usually creates more problems than it solves. This collection sets out the distinction between a technological fix and a true technological solution. Bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines, the essays trace the technological fix as it has appeared throughout the twentieth century. Addressing such "fixes" as artificial hearts, industrial agriculture and climate engineering, these essays examine our need to turn to technology for solutions to all of our problems.
Now that Wal-Mart has conquered the US, can it conquer the world? As Wal-Mart World shows, the corporation is certainly trying. For a number of years, Wal-Mart has been the largest company in the United States. Now, though, it is the largest company in the world. Its global labor practices and outsourcing strategies represent for many what contemporary economic globalization is all about. But Wal-Mart is not standing still, and is opening up stores everywhere. From Germany to Beijing to Mexico City to Tokyo, more than a billion shoppers can now hunt for bargains at a Wal-Mart superstore. Wal-Mart World is the first book to look at this incredibly important phenomenon in global perspective, with chapters that range from its growth in the US and impact on labor relations here to its fortunes overseas. How Wal-Mart manages this transition in the near future will play a significant role in the determining the character of the global economy. Wal-Mart World's impressively broad scope makes it necessary reading for anyone interested in the global impact of this economic colossus.

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