ABOUT THIS BOOK
This pathbreaking study traces the rise--and subsequent fall--of the
United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA). Roger Horowitz emphasizes
local leaders and meatpacking workers in Chicago, Kansas City, Sioux City,
and Austin, Minnesota, and closely examines the unionizing of the workplace
and the prominent role of black workers and women in UPWA.
In clear, anecdotal style, Horowitz shows how three major firms in U.S.
meat production and distribution became dominant by virtually eliminating
union power. The union's decline, he argues, reflected massive pressure
by capital for lower labor costs and greater control over the work process.
In the end, the victorious firms were those that had been most successful
at increasing the rate of exploitation of their workers, who now labor
in conditions as bad as those of a century ago.
"The definitive study of unionism in the meatpacking industry for
the period since the 1920's." -- James R. Barrett, author of Work
and Community in the Jungle: Chicago's Packinghouse Workers, 1894-1922
A volume in the series The Working Class in American History, edited
by David Brody, Alice Kessler-Harris, David Montgomery, and Sean Wilentz
Supported by the Illinois Labor History Society