USWA-bargained and state-oriented responses to the recurrent steel crisis

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The contemporary American integrated steel industry is at the peak of its efficiency, cost-effectiveness, technological sophistication, and productivity. But performance standards aside, domestic steelmakers have become even less competitive and find themselves on the brink of collapse. This time, however, the industry's distress is not caused by poor market behavior, primarily or in even in sizeable part, but by a hostile set of United States government policies. In response to the enormity of the industry's present problems, the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) proposed a full throttle, protective national public policy that prioritized steelmaking as critical to the nation's economic vitality. In doing so, the union emerged as the most potent response to the industry's severe market failures and became the leading advocate for rationalizing not only domestic, but also global steel markets. This work strongly indicates that if the union is to remain relevant in representing the workplace, the USWA must profoundly reconsider the value of state-oriented political action in its bargaining approach toward the industry. To attain what the bargaining process can no longer provide, politics is now essential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-91
Number of pages25
JournalLabor Studies Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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