What Can Labor Organizations Do for US Workers When They Can't Do What Unions Used to Do?

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What Can Labor Organizations Do for US Workers When They Can't Do What Unions Used to Do?

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Title: What Can Labor Organizations Do for US Workers When They Can't Do What Unions Used to Do?
Author: Freeman, Richard Barry
Citation: Freeman, Richard. 2014. What Can Labor Organizations Do for US Workers When They Can't Do What Unions Used to Do? In What Works for Workers: Public Policies and Innovative Strategies for Low-Wage Workers, ed. Stephanie Luce, Jennifer Luff, Joseph McCartin and Ruth Milkman, 50-78. New York: Russell Sage Press.
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Abstract: The traditional union model of organizing workers through representation elections and bargaining with management for higher wages and benefits is in trend decline in the US. Private sector union density has plummeted while public sector collective bargaining faces continual attacks on its legitimacy. In such a setting the only sensible answer to the title question is that unions will not accomplish much unless they find ways to impact economic outcomes outside of collective bargaining. With unions unable to do for workers what they once did, some labor activists, social entrepreneurs, and unions have pioneered strategies and tactics that engage workers and improve labor well-being without collective contracts. Modern information and communication technology offers ways to scale up some of these innovations and help restore a balance between labor and capital in the American economic system.
Published Version: https://www.russellsage.org/publications/what-works-workers
Other Sources: http://nalhc.wayne.edu/papers/WhatCanLaborOrgsDoForUSWorkersWhenTheyCantDoWhatUnionsUsedToDo.pdf
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34548956
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