Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Organized Labor, Nuclear Power, and Environmental Justice: A Comparative Analysis of the Canadian and U.S. Labor Movements

Document type Article
Author Savage, Larry
Author Soron, Dennis
Journal Labor Studies Journal
Volume 36
Date 2011 March
ISSN 0160-449X
Pages 37-57


This article engages in a comparative analysis of the U.S. and Canadian labor movements’ attitudes toward nuclear power, in both historical and contemporary periods, with a view to explaining the divergent policy positions on nuclear power adopted by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the AFL-CIO, respectively. The contrasting views of the AFL-CIO and CLC, it is argued, arise not simply from differing levels of commitment to the principles of social unionism, but from a more complex mesh of ideological, pragmatic, and institutional factors related to union-party relationships and other important differences pertaining to the culture, membership composition, organizational maintenance requirements, and decision-making power bases in both labor organizations.