Unions Arise -- With New Tricks

After a long decline, organized labor adds members, calls more strikes, and even boasts a victory or two

Labor unions? They're as lost in today's economy as velociraptors would be in a later-than-Jurassic environment. As the smokestack industries that they once dominated declined, unions have been losing members and influence for decades. Those remaining are too timid even to strike much anymore, and when they do they usually lose. They are toothless dinosaurs on the way to becoming fossils.

Not quite! Or at least many unions and union members no longer fit that stereotype. A growing number of organizers are signing up the unaffiliated -- janitors, retail clerks, packinghouse workers -- with a missionary fervor recalling the crusaders of...

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