McAlevey’s latest book, A Collective Bargain , arrives in a new moment of danger and rebellion. The author’s signature arguments are all here, but in the form of a primer on labor and democracy and framed for a general audience. She wrote the book in a rush (just 45 days, she says in the acknowledgments), and the loosely structured content reflects this haste: a mix of organizing shop talk, myth busters, interviews, case studies, and commentary on everything from Silicon Valley and Chinese manufacturing to employment case law and gun violence. But that’s mostly beside the point. McAlevey’s influence is such that the book, like her first two, is certain to be passed from hand to hand—and what more could an author ask for?
At times, the labor leader Jane McAlevey’s latest book, A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy, reads like an army field manual, with the author as drill instructor ... In McAlevey’s view, labor organizing is all-consuming, demanding, and dangerous ... A Collective Bargain offers an introduction to the world of unions and their enemies, disseminating the how-tos of organizing to those people who lack experience in, for example, running supermajority strikes—which is to say, most people. McAlevey’s writing is an attempt to circulate organizers’ skills, breathing life into the long-quiescent labor movement.
A battle cry for union rights in a time hostile to labor organizations ... Longtime union organizer McAlevey...is nothing if not a tough talker ... Tough talk for tough times and a welcome guide for labor activists.