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Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law


Have you ever felt your blood boil at work but lacked the tools to fight back and win? Or have you acted together with your co-workers, made progress, but wondered what to do next? If you are in a union, do you find that the union operates top-down just like the boss and ignores the will of its members?

Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law is a guerrilla legal handbook for workers in a precarious global economy. Blending cutting-edge legal strategies for winning justice at work with a theory of dramatic social change from below, Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross deliver a practical guide for making work better while re-invigorating the labor movement.

Labor Law for the Rank and Filer demonstrates how a powerful model of organizing called “Solidarity Unionism” can help workers avoid the pitfalls of the legal system and utilize direct action to win. This new revised and expanded edition includes new cases governing fundamental labor rights as well as an added section on Practicing Solidarity Unionism. This new section includes chapters discussing the hard-hitting tactic of working to rule; organizing under the principle that no one is illegal, and building grassroots solidarity across borders to challenge neoliberalism, among several other new topics. Illustrative stories of workers’ struggles make the legal principles come alive.   

Reviews:

"Workers’ rights are under attack on every front. Bosses break the law every day. For 30 years Labor Law for the Rank and Filer has been arming workers with an introduction to their legal rights (and the limited means to enforce them) while reminding everyone that real power comes from workers’ solidarity." 
–Alexis Buss, former General Secretary-Treasurer of the IWW

"As valuable to working persons as any hammer, drill, stapler, or copy machine, Labor Law for the Rank and Filer is a damn fine tool empowering workers who struggle to realize their basic dignity in the workplace while living through an era of unchecked corporate greed. Smart, tough, and optimistic, Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross provide nuts and bolts information to realize on-the-job rights while showing us that another world is not only possible but inevitable." 
–John Philo, Legal Director, Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice

"Some things are too important to leave to so called “experts”: our livelihoods, our dignity and our rights. In this book, Staughton Lynd and Daniel Gross have provided us with a very necessary, empowering, and accessible tool for protecting our own rights as workers."
–Nicole Schulman, co-editor “Wobblies! A Graphic History” and World War 3 Illustrated

About the Authors:

Daniel Gross is an organizer with the Industrial Workers of the World on its Starbucks campaign and the founding director of Brandworkers International, a non-profit organization for retail and food employees. Staughton Lynd is a labor lawyer and historian. He wrote the original Labor Law for the Rank and Filer more than 25 years ago.  

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