Political coalitions for mutual advantage: the case of the Tobacco Institute's Labor Management Committee

Am J Public Health. 2005 Jun;95(6):985-93. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.052126.


In 1984, the tobacco workers' union and the Tobacco Institute, which represents US tobacco companies, formed a labor management committee (LMC). The institute relied on LMC unions to resist smoke-free worksite rules. In a review of the internal tobacco industry documents now publicly available, we found that the LMC succeeded for 2 primary reasons. First, the LMC furthered members' interests, allowing them to overcome institutional barriers to policy success. Second, the LMC used an "institutions, ideas, and interests" strategy to encourage non-LMC unions to oppose smoke-free worksite rules. While public health advocates missed an opportunity to partner with unions on the issue of smoke-free worksites during the era studied, they can use a similar strategy to form coalitions with unions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Dissent and Disputes
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations*
  • Labor Unions / organization & administration*
  • Lobbying
  • Occupational Health
  • Politics*
  • Public Policy*
  • Tobacco Industry / organization & administration*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Workplace / legislation & jurisprudence*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution