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date: 29 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the history and practices of women’s mobilization, within and through the trade union movement, aimed at the reconfiguration of structures and relations of power to achieve economic justice and labor rights for women. While there is a long history of women’s activism in the labor movement, the chapter focuses on the post–World War II period to the present in order to capture the impact of structural changes in the global economy on women’s work and labor activism. Women, the LGBT community, immigrants, and men of color are at the forefront of the activism that is revitalizing the U.S. labor movement. Activists are working to expand the scope of labor issues beyond the workplace by borrowing discourses from other social movements, developing new mobilizing networks, organizing strategies and repertories of action, and forging coalitions and alliances across movements and even across national boundaries.

Keywords: trade union, sexual politics, intersectionality and leadership, labor movement, women, LGBT, immigrant

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