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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

33 - Union Commitment to Racial Diversity

from Part VI - Unions, Civil Society, and Culture


This chapter will address the need for more strategic actions by organized labor regarding matters of race given the increasing racial diversity in the make-up of unionized workplaces. There are challenges for unions when matters of racial justice pit union member versus union member. Nevertheless, this chapter asserts that union leadership must embrace the growing concerns of a racially diverse membership and the impact of recent social movements in highlighting societal concerns about race. Then union leadership can establish a new platform that approaches those concerns at the bargaining table by advocating creative contract terms that value workplace diversity, including dispute resolution tools within the grievance process that will promote worker solidarity on matters of both race and class. Finally, the chapter concludes by extolling the virtues of union-led efforts to seek racial justice in the workplace by joining with broader social movements as establishing key win-win consequences for workers of color and their unions.

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