Does the Change to Win Federation Represent U.S. Labor’s Third Moment? Evidence from National Labor Relations Board Certification Elections, 2003–2005
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In the conclusion to Labor in the New Urban Battlegrounds, Daniel Cornfield contends that U.S. labor’s third “moment” is exemplified by the establishment of the Change to Win (CTW) Federation in September 2005 in which the federation’s affiliated unions focused on organizing service sector workers into multi-jurisdictional unions. Cornfield defines a “moment” as an era in which labor adopts innovative organizing strategies for representing workers in industries and/or occupations previously unorganized within the economy. Utilizing National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) certification election data from 2003–2005, this article investigates the organizing patterns, based on the jurisdictions and industries of fifteen unions, nine affiliated with the AFL-CIO and six that joined the CTW, to ascertain if the CTW’s creation initiated U.S. labor’s third moment. Analysis of the certification election data indicates that the CTW’s formation does not constitute the inauguration of third moment unionism in the United States.
Key wordsunion organizing NLRB certification elections service sector workers
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