Conclusion Class and Power

William J. Mello

in New York Longshoremen

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034898
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038681 | DOI:
Conclusion Class and Power

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Despite the dockworkers' increasing capacity over the years to impose heavy financial losses on shipping elites and political pressure on state and federal authorities, the waterfront rank-and-file movement proved unsuccessful at achieving its most fundamental demand for greater control of the dock labor process and their union. A close examination of almost thirty years of continuous conflict and revolt on the Port of New York indicates that the capacity of New York's longshoremen to impose financial and political pressure far outweighed their ability to translate their revolt into effective political power. Similar to most American workers, for dockworkers power remained insubstantial. The limited ability of the longshoremen's movement to reform the waterfront, however, was not solely a reflection of their own weaknesses or simply the result of limited resources.

Keywords: class and power; political pressure; dockworkers; Port of New York; labor process; labor union; longshoremen's movement; waterfront reform

Chapter.  2190 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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