The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America
Rick Wartzman’s character-driven historical account of 20th-century labor movements makes a bold claim: nothing has contributed more to the rise of American class immobility than corporations who are more loyal to their shareholders than to their employees.
The opening chapters map out the flourishing and withering of worker benefits at several major American corporations: Coca-Cola, General Electric, General Motors and others. The author’s sympathies for both corporate leaders and union presidents may leave partisan readers scratching their heads, but Wartzman sees the constant clash between labor and management as essentially fruitful for both employees and the corporation itself.
Wartzman punctuates the history of these clashes with keen details: poems, picketers’ songs, wry interviews and excerpts from a 1940s General Motors “Why I Love My Job” essay contest.
Recommended for readers interested in learning more about the history of American income inequity, especially if you’ve tried the recent Dream Hoarders by Richard V. Reeves but found its statistics-heavy approach impenetrable.
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