Bookbeat

Bookbeat: November 2008

Blue-Green Coalitions: Fighting for Safe Workplaces and Healthy CommunitiesBlue-Green Coalitions: Fighting for Safe Workplaces and Healthy Communities

by Brian Mayer,
Department of Sociology
(Cornell University Press, 2008)
Available through Amazon

What do unions and environmental groups have to gain by working together and how do they overcome their differences? In Blue-Green Coalitions, Brian Mayer answers these questions by focusing on the role that health-related issues have played in creating a common ground between the two groups. By recognizing that the same toxics that cause workplace hazards escape into surrounding communities and the environment, workers and environmentalists are able to collaborate for the protection of all.

Mayer examines three contemporary cases of successful labor-environmental alliances to demonstrate how health and safety issues are used to create durable and politically influential social movement coalitions:

In Mayer's ethnographic accounts of the challenging work of bringing these blue-green coalitions together, it becomes clear that stereotypes about environmentalists and workers are largely irrelevant when thinking about who is at risk of exposure to dangerous toxic substances. Both movements share a common concern for protecting their members' health from toxic hazards that are by-products of the modern industrial economy.

- Publisher

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