Resources For Organized Labor and Working People
Right-wing attacks on organized labor and working people are nothing
new. This page is a starting point for connecting to resources and conducting
research into this problem.
Recognize that the Right is a complex movement.
No one organization “controls” the Right. No single funder is “behind” the
Right. Some large organizations are important, but many others appear
to be more influential than they really are. Recognize that there
are multiple networks of organizations and funders with differing
and sometimes competing agendas. Find out as much as you can about
the groups you see. Incorporate this information in your educational
work. It is helpful in organizing to know a great deal about
your opponents. Be alert to evidence of the Right’s “new racism.” The
Right has replaced simple racist rhetoric with a more complex, “colorblind” political
agenda which actually attacks the rights of people of color.
This advice is from the PRA flyer "Ground
Rules & Tips for Challenging the Right."
Right Wing Attack on the American Labor Movement
by Joanne Ricca, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO
Harvard Trade Union Program (HTUP)
The HTUP collection of links
pages for labor
ZNET Labor Watch by
Elaine Bernard, Dan Swinney, & Carl Davidson
(See especially the archive of articles)
General Web Links
Guide to Labor
Oriented Internet Resources Institute of Industrial Relations Library,
University of California, Berkeley
Labor Net's Extensive
List of Links: Union Directory; Labor, Employment & Government;
Statistics & Resources; Labor News Publications; Labor - Relevant Legislation & Legal
Information; Labor Cartoons, Art, Video, Radio, Culture, History; Mainstream
But Useful News Sources; International Labor Information; Other Excellent
Labor Resource Sites; General References
Labor Research Association
Researching Labor and Corporation
Links Page: UMASS Labor Relations and Research Center
Privatization: The Public Pays
Union Network International
Anti-Union / Anti-Labor / Anti-Regulation
National Right to Work Committee Anti-union
propaganda with a nasty tone.
Heritage Foundation Conservative pro-business.
Cato Institute Libertarian, anti-regulation,
darwinian economic analysis
American Enterprise Institute Big business,
anti-regulation, darwinian economic analysis.
The Real Story Behind 'Paycheck
The Hidden Link Between Anti-Worker and Anti-Public Education Initiatives: An
Anatomy of the Far Right. Washington, DC: National Education Association,
Well-researched and extremely useful, this report is a welcome contribution
from the labor movement—a sector long targeted and vilified by the Right.
The sections “The State-based Assault” and “State Battlegrounds” are good
companion pieces to understand, through the use of case studies, how the
State Policy Network operates. Also valuable is the guide to State Policy
Network Members which gives profiles of each organizational member in a state-by-state
format. The precision of the report, however, is somewhat marred by the author’s
tendency to use inflammatory rhetoric to describe the conservative movement.
To obtain copies, contact: NEA Communication, 1201 16th Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20036
The Assault on Working Families
by the Public Policy Department of AFSCME. Washington, DC: American Federation
of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, 1998.
In addition to the standard, albeit important, descriptions of conservative
policy organizations, this report has some practical appendices. Included are
an analysis of state-based and regional research and policy analysis groups
and samples of model state legislation that move the anti-labor, anti-working
family, anti-government agenda of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Order driectly from AFSCME.
The Public Pays, by AFSCME
From 03/23/98 AFSCME Leader:
IT'S YOUR VOICE.
USE IT OR LOSE IT.
BIG BUSINESS WANTS TO TAKE AWAY
YOUR VOICE — AND THEN YOUR UNION.
The same groups that have tried to kill minimum wage increases, gut
workplace safety laws, promote privatization, create management-run “unions” and
pass “right-to-work” laws — undermining unions and all workers — are
spending $149 million to pass phony “paycheck protection” measures across
the country. We call them “Paycheck Deception” laws.
These laws would force unions to get advance approval from individual
union members to use dues for “political purposes” — in other words,
to stand up for working people in the American political system. But
corporations would remain free to give millions of dollars to their friends
in government, without the permission of their stockholders. Big Business
already outspends unions 11-to-1.
Big Business doesn’t want working Americans to have a voice in politics.
Big Business wants to buy laws that give them profit protection — and
knock out anyone who tries to get in their way.
America's working families have to act now to save
their right to speak out through their union.
"All across America AFSCME members are up against the threat of privatization
of the services they provide."
"From public works and public assistance to environmental protection and
correctional facilities, corporations are trying to seize control of public
services of all kinds. They’re winning the support of elected officials eager
to score political points by cutting government payrolls and to raise campaign
funds by befriending wealthy contributors. And they’re supported by a new
breed of right-wing ideologues who are working overtime to convince the country
that private companies can do everything better than the public sector."
"This coordinated campaign to privatize government at every level far exceeds
anything we’ve seen in the past — including the efforts at "contracting-out" which
AFSCME has observed and opposed for decades. And, while contracting-out used
to be promoted by home-grown, "mom and pop" operations, today’s privatizers
are more likely to be huge multinational corporations.:
About the Right-Wing Policy Network
Buying a Movement: Right-Wing
Foundations and American Politics, (Washington, DC: People for the American
Sally Covington, Moving A
Public Policy Agenda: The Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative
Foundations, Washington, DC: National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy,
Online excerpts at
Extensively researched and sharply analytical, this report documents the important
role conservative foundations have played in building the infrastructure
of the Right and influencing public policy at the national, state and local
level. Covington analyzes 12 key foundation’s grant-making programs and the
missions, activities, staff and boards of grantees. The report includes sections
on types of institutions supported; strategic funding; how philanthropic
resources have been mobilized; and the institutional, ideological and public
policy impact of this conservative philanthropy.
David Callahan, $1 Billion for Ideas: Conservative Think Tanks in the 1990s,
Washington, DC: National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, March 1999.
This report focuses on the top twenty conservative policy institutes of the
1990s. In addition to the well-known Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute
and the American Enterprise Institute, Callahan examines seventeen less-known
think tanks. The report includes sections on: how conservative think tanks
have expanded their influence in the 1990s; how they operate both in terms
of policy research, marketing and change at the state and local levels; how
they are supported; and how they are structured internally. Of particular
interest is Callahan’s analysis of the Right’s victories in 5 policy areas:
welfare; Social Security and Medicare; deregulation and the environment;
taxes; and education.
Political Research Associates
1310 Broadway, Suite 201, Somerville, MA 02144. 671/666-5300. fax: 617/666-6622
Extensive eighteen-year file and publication archive on right-wing movements
ranging from New Right to white supremacist groups. Publishes a newsletter,
The Public Eye. Extensive publications list.
Institute for Democracy Studies
177 East 87th Street, Suite 501, New York, NY 10128. 212/423-9237. fax: 212/423-9352
Timely topical reports.
National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
2001 S St., NW, Suite 620, Washington, DC 20009. 202-387-9177 (Voice), 202-332-5084
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy has been at the forefront
in tracking and analyzing the growth and influence of conservative public
policy-making. They have published three important reports.
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 900, Oakland, CA 94612, 510/835-4692, fax: 510/835-3017
Research by contract into a variety of topics with special expertise in corporations
and current political issues. Large collection of clippings and specialized
computer skills for searching electronic databases. Write for complete resource
People for the American Way
2000 M Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036, 202/467-4999, fax: 202/293-2672
Has several reports and press releases on the rise of the Religious Right
and homophobic campaigns. Resources include a newsletter, Right-Wing Watch
and a videotape, The Religious Right, Then and Now. Extensive publications
How did the political right gain so much power so quickly? We think the book
by Himmelstein is a good place to start:
Other useful books:
- Jerome L. Himmelstein, To The Right: The Transformation of American Conservatism,
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990).
- Jean Hardisty, Mobilizing
Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to
the Promise Keepers. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999).
- Chip Berlet, ed., Eyes Right! Challenging the Right Wing Backlash, (Boston:
South End Press, 1995).
- Chip Berlet & Matthew N. Lyons, Right-Wing
Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. (New York: Guilford Press,
- Sara Diamond, Roads to Dominion: Right–Wing Movements and Political Power
in the United States, (New York: Guilford, 1995).
- Clarence Y. H. Lo and Michael Schwartz, eds., Social Policy and the Conservative
Agenda, (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1998).
Political Research Associates
Check PRA Studying Right-wing Funding & Policy-Making
Foundations & Funding: Web Resources
Links to Conservative and Right-wing Groups
Directory of Right-wing Groups & their
Web Research Resources
Topical Contents of PRA's Public Eye Website
Just Foreign Policy
Organized Labor and Working People
Liberties, Security for Activists
Study the Right