American Unionism and U.
Robert Reich, Beth Shulman, and Karla Walter The essence of what labor unions do—give workers a stronger voice so that they can get a fair share of the economic growth they help create—is and has always been important to making the economy work for all Americans.
And unions only become more important as the economy worsens. One of the primarily reasons why our current recession endures is that workers do not have the purchasing power they need to drive our economy. Even when times were relatively good, workers were getting squeezed.
Yet debt-driven consumption is not sustainable, as we are plainly seeing. What is sustainable is an economy where workers are adequately rewarded and have the income they need to purchase goods.
This is where unions come in. Unions paved the way to the middle class for millions of American workers and pioneered benefits such as paid health care and pensions along the way.
Even today, union workers earn significantly more on average than their non-union counterparts, and union employers are more likely to provide benefits.
And non-union workers—particularly in highly unionized industries—receive financial benefits from employers who increase wages to match what unions would win in order to avoid unionization. Unfortunately, declining unionization rates mean that workers are less likely to receive good wages and be rewarded for their increases in productivity.
Unions help workers achieve higher wages Union members in the United States earn significantly more than non-union workers. That means that, all else equal, American workers that join a union will earn Yet union coverage rates have been declining for several decades.
Bythat portion declined to Throughout the middle part of the 20th century—a period when unions were stronger—American workers generated economic growth by increasing their productivity, and they were rewarded with higher wages.
But this link between greater productivity and higher wages has broken down. Yet wages and productivity growth have decoupled since the late s. Looking from tonationwide worker productivity grew by For example, according to analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, between and the share of labor compensation in the form of benefits rose from Unionization rewards workers for productivity growth Slow wage growth has squeezed the middle class and contributed to rising inequality.
But increasing union coverage rates could likely reverse these trends as more Americans would benefit from the union wage premium and receive higher wages. Non-union workers would also benefit as employers would likely raise wages to match what unions would win in order to avoid unionization.
Union workers nationwide are Conclusion Nearly three out of five survey respondents from a Peter Hart Research Associates poll report that they would join a union if they could, but workers attempting to unionize currently face a hostile legal environment and are commonly intimidated by aggressive antiunion employers.
The Employee Free Choice Act would help workers who want to join a union do so by ensuring fairness in the union selection process with three main provisions: Passing the Employee Free Choice Act and making it harder for management to threaten workers seeking to unionize would be good for American workers.
Increasing unionization is a good way to get out of our current economic troubles.Fall of the Soviet Union and End of the Cold War: Causes & Timeline The Cold War in America: Effects on Everyday Life urbanagricultureinitiative.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree.
Publisher of academic books and electronic media publishing for general interest and in a wide variety of fields. The Center for American Progress would like to thank the Center for Economic and Policy Research for providing the national and state-by-state analysis of the union .
The Alien Contract Act and its amendments remained in effect until when it was repealed. President Theodore Roosevelt gave his support to a congressional proposal to create a commission to study the impact of mass immigration.
see Briggs, Immigration and American Unionism, op. cit., Chapter 4. 51 Council of Economic Advisors. Cold War America The onset of the Cold War, which was a period of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, drastically altered life for Americans.
Feb 19, · The Cost of a Decline in Unions. By Nicholas Kristof. Feb. 19, ; Image. It may be more: A study in the American Sociological Review, using the broadest methodology.