Blue-Collar Empire

Blue-Collar Empire:The Untold Story of US Labor's Global Anticommunist Crusade

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The secret history of how the CIA used American unions to undermine working class militancy at home and abroad during the Cold War.

There is power in a union. Not only the power to secure pay raises and employee benefits, but the power to bring economies to a screeching halt and overthrow governments. Recognizing this, in the late twentieth century, the US government sought to control labor movements abroad as part of the Cold War contest for worldwide supremacy.

To subvert overseas unions, Washington found an enthusiastic partner in the AFL-CIO’s anticommunist officials, who for decades expended incredible energy trying to block revolutionary ideologies and militant class consciousness from taking hold in the workers’ movements of Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Blue-Collar Empire tells the sweeping story of the AFL-CIO’s global anticommunist crusade—and the devastating consequences for workers at home and abroad.