In 1955, African Americans in the South faced seemingly impossible conditions, but a decade later, a mass movement had won impressive victories. If workers and unions hope to achieve fundamental changes, not just incremental advances, they should learn from the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement indicates that workers’ rights can be won only if workers launch a mass movement, take risks, engage in direct action, demonstrate an ability to disrupt the normal functioning of society, and maintain that disruption until concessions are won. Political change, legal victories, cultural shifts, and media coverage followed from, and depended on, the success of mass action.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dan_clawson/7/