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Philip Dine's State of the Unions (McGraw-Hill, September 2007)

Philip Dine, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated labor reporter offers insight to what happened to organized labor in America and what can be done to restore it to its role as defender of middle-class values and economic wellbeing.

New York, NY, September 14, 2007 --( “Phil Dine tells a compelling tale (and he writes beautifully) of the decline, fall and potential rebirth of a powerful labor movement in the U.S.”
– Mike Wallace, CBS news

From steel workers, Teamsters, and coal miners to teachers, actors and civil servants, union members once accounted for more than one-third of the American workforce. At a mere twelve-percent, union membership today is a shadow of what is once was. In State of the Unions, Philip Dine, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated labor reporter who has covered the beat for twenty years, offers insight to what happened to organized labor in America and what can be done to restore it to its role as the defender of middle-class values and economic wellbeing.

From Richard Gephardt’s foreword: “An America with fewer unions and union members will result in a lower standard of living for all…American labor must adapt and reform itself to move the American standard of living back up… Dine’s book makes us understand that the American economy – built strong on the back of a stable middle class – still depends on having strong unions.”

State of the Unions details the systematic dismantling of American unions and the monumental impact that has had on our economy, politics, health, and way of life. Dine brings the reader inside the lives of the people at the heart of the struggle to revive the labor movement and offers inspiring in-depth accounts of recent grass-roots victories, such as the women of Delta Pride – a major player in the multi-billion-dollar catfish industry – who went up against generations of racial and economic prejudice; and the politically active Firefighters for John Kerry in Iowa who flexed their muscle to score a major political victory in the 2004 caucus. He commingles those tales of struggle and challenge with colorful personal encounters involving union leaders from Jim Hoffa, Jr. of the Teamsters to Al Shanker of the Teachers.

Through it all, Dine provides both a political and cultural context for America’s unions. He connects the dots between the state of today’s unions and the state of our politics and economy. His experience as a reporter covering labor through several decades of union wins and losses provides an informed perspective of recent labor history.

Dine writes: “A powerful labor movement that once moved workers into the middle class is now powerless to prevent people from falling out of it.” He explains why and how labor must adapt to the new world order if it hopes to survive and offers valuable pointers on what it can do to better communicate its message and shape the political agenda.

About the Author
Philip M. Dine has covered the labor beat for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for two decades. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his labor reporting, he was also recognized for best Washington correspondence by the National Press Club and named top foreign correspondent by the Overseas Press Club. His op-ed or commentary pieces have been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and Newsday. This past June, Dine won two additional awards for his reporting – the 2007 National Press Club Edwin Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence and the 2007 Society of Professional Journalists Dateline Award for Investigative Reporting.

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