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The IndustrialistsHow the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism$
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Jennifer A. Delton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167862

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167862.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

A Changing Workforce

A Changing Workforce

(p.210) 9 A Changing Workforce
The Industrialists

Jennifer A. Delton

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the overlap between African Americans' demands for jobs and conservatives' push for “right to work” laws. While compulsory union dues were very different from unions' exclusion of blacks, both movements targeted historically white unions and shared a language of workplace “rights.” Conservative “right to work” activists adopted the tactics of the civil rights movement and aligned themselves with blacks against exclusionary unions. Although this strategy failed to attract African Americans, it called attention to unions' historic and ongoing racism in a way that eventually divided the labor–liberal coalition. This dynamic is key to understanding the National Association of Manufacturers' complicated support for civil rights, equal opportunity, and affirmative action.

Keywords:   African Americans, right to work, white unions, civil rights movement, exclusionary unions, racism, labor–liberal coalition, equal opportunity, affirmative action

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