About Union Communication Services

new ucs books

UCS to cease operations effective August 30, 2019

For the past five years, the Worker Institute at Cornell University’s ILR School operated Union Communication Services (UCS), which publishes Steward Update and some two dozen books sold through the UCS bookstore.  David Prosten founded UCS in 1981, writing many of its books and building Steward Update into an important resource for shop floor workers’ representatives.  In 2014, Prosten gifted UCS to the Worker Institute.  Over the last five years, the Worker Institute made important updates to UCS and Steward Update, building an online presence for UCS, updating the appearance of the website and Steward Update, and introducing new content for union stewards and workplace advocates to help build a powerful and inclusive labor movement. Unfortunately, we have come to realize that the Worker Institute’s strengths did not provide the synergy we had hoped for with the UCS focus.

Accordingly, we now announce with sadness that the operations of UCS as it currently exists will close down at the end of August of this year.  The August issue of Steward Update (Vol. 30, No. 4) will be the final issue.  Also, as of August 30, 2019, we will no longer sell UCS-published books.  The leadership of the Worker Institute reached this decision through a good faith process, which involved searching for a new home for all or parts of UCS.  Unfortunately, this effort did not come to a successful conclusion.

We are confident, however, that other progressive labor organizations will step in to provide the type of crucial information for workers and shop floor activists that Steward Update supplied. 

We want to thank you for your support and commitment to labor education and your support for UCS over the past five years.