Restoring the Middle Class by Refashioning the Appeal of Unions


This article appeared in the September 2011 Labor Day issue of the Right Flier, the newsletter of the Wright State University chapter of AAUP. In my previous post to this blog, I suggested that the unions of the future will, by necessity, need to look different and function differently than they do today, and I provided a brief overview of what that might mean in more specific terms. This article elaborates on those points.

This Labor Day provided an occasion for hopeful reflection on the part of union leaders, union members, and labor advocates in many parts of the country, in particular across the so-called Rust Belt. In response to radical right-wing attacks on the collective bargaining rights of public employees and the legal requirement to pay prevailing wages on public construction projects, unions have re-energized their memberships, and the general public’s attitudes toward union-affiliated workers have begun to rebound…

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