Please bring to class a relevant excerpt from any source (newspaper article, magazine piece, journal article etc.) that pertains to the current challenges facing labor and management relations (in the US or any other nation) or future directions for the labor movement (US or globally).
These excerpts are taken from Time, titled "The Decline of Unions Is Your Problem Too" by Eric Liu published on Jan 29, 2013. Excerpts are as follows:
"Last week came news that the share of America’s workforce that’s unionized hit a 97-year low. A mere 11.3% of workers now belong to a union, and a great chunk of those are in the shrinking public sector. In the private sector, unionization fell to an abysmal 6.6%, down from a peak of 35% during the 1950s.
Most Americans yawned at this news. On one level that’s understandable. After all, most Americans aren’t in a union. It’s a vicious cycle: as unions decline, fewer people see their fates as bound up with unions, which just accelerates the decline."
In the same article author writes:
"First, the fact is that when unions are stronger the economy as a whole doesbetter. Unions restore demand to an economy by raising wages for their members and putting more purchasing power to work, enabling more hiring. On the flip side, when labor is weak and capital unconstrained, corporations hoard, hiring slows, and inequality deepens. Thus we have today both recordhighs in corporate profits and record lows in wages.
Second, unions lift wages for non-union members too by creating a higher prevailing wage. Even if you aren’t a member your pay is influenced by the strength or weakness of organized labor. The presence of unions sets off a wage race to the top. Their absence sets off a race to the bottom."
Apr 22nd, 2015
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