Even if the goings-on of the labor unions have no direct effect on you, Steve Early’s new book, Embedded with Organized Labor, could still be an important piece of literature. As a collection of essays, Early writes from a unique perspective— he was an organizer for the Communications Workers of America for 27 years before becoming a freelance labor journalist—regarding the effects of class status on our society, our economy, and our lives. His book reaches beyond what it means to be a part of American labor unions, delving into social issues such as race, gender and employee rights, which affect every one of us.
Don’t be fooled, though, despite the universality of these themes. Early’s main focus is still laborunion activism, which he analyzes rather than just attacking with editorial vigor. Seeking out the humanity in business and organization isn’t easy, but with authors such as Early to help us understand the importance of balance in our workforces, it’s a starting point to help us ponder ways as to how to find empathy in commerce.