Representation and Rebellion: The first review.

7 05 2010

You can read it here. My favorite part is:

One of his most compelling points is his contention that although the ERP provided tangible benefits for many relatively skilled, literate workers who were thoroughly “Americanized,” substantial numbers of workers failed to take advantage of the services outside of the workplace that the plan offered. Rockefeller’s managers, however sincere and well-intentioned they may have been, failed to understand that the vast majority of workers at CF&I were innately suspicious of any program that they did not control themselves. Workers wanted independent representation, not something that reminded them of the condescending paternalism in early Lowell or George Pullman’s more recent “ideal,” tightly controlled worker community on the outskirts of Chicago.

This gives me hope that I won’t be thrown out of the labor history sub-field because I wrote a few nice things about “company unions.” But then again, there are probably many more to come.

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