28 Lab. Stud. J. i (2003-2004)

handle is hein.journals/labstuj28 and id is 1 raw text is: 






Introduction


                   Margaret Hallock and Kim Scipes

n April 2002, labor educators and activists met in Los Angeles to dis-
  cuss the topic Generating Power for the Labor Movement. Members
of the United Association for Labor Education (UALE) and AFL-CIO
activists celebrated the victories and pondered the challenges facing labor
in the U.S. and internationally as we build power through bargaining,
political activism, organizing, and social justice activism. This issue pre-
sents some of the best papers from that conference, papers that address
this theme from a number of different angles, privileging none but sug-
gesting that the way forward might be more diverse than many imagine.
     We begin with a much-needed focus on young workers in a path-
breaking study of students and workers in the San Francisco Bay area.
Stuart Tannock and Sara Flocks argue that while young workers are every-
where, we really know little about their lives and their struggles. They
suggest that it is important to know the reality of the plight of these
workers if we ever hope to recruit them into the union movement.
     Tannock and Flocks interviewed 45 young students at a Bay Area
community college. Their sample from this integrated college was 40 per-
cent African-American, 24.5 percent Latino, 22 percent white, 9 percent
Asian American and 4.5 percent other. They found a complex interac-
tion in their lives of both school and work. Even though all were classi-
fied as students, the interaction between their studies and their jobs
had an impact upon them that was very different from those attending a
four-year college on a full-time basis. They note that, while public offi-
cials call again and again for the young to go to school to get ahead, these
students are already in school. Yet their economic circumstances and the
very nature of their jobs create obstacles in their efforts to succeed educa-
tionally. Tannock and Flocks argue that until these young students orga-
nize collectively in unions, their lives will continue to be pulled in con-
tradictory directions, undercutting their very efforts to get ahead.

LABOR STUDIES JOURNAL, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Spring 2003): i-iv. Published for the United Association
for Labor Education by the West Virginia University Press, P.O. Box 6295, West Virginia
University, Morgantown, WV 26506.  2003, West Virginia University Press.

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