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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Labor's new reality -- it's easier to raise wages for 100,000 than to unionize 4,000

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from www.latimes.com


Union protest
Union protest

Haltingly, with understandable ambivalence, the American labor movement is morphing into something new. Its most prominent organizing campaigns of recent years — of fast-food workers, domestics, taxi drivers and Wal-Mart employees — have prompted states and cities to raise their minimum wage and create more worker-friendly regulations. But what these campaigns haven't done is create more than a small number of new dues-paying union members. Nor, for the foreseeable future, do unions anticipate that they will.

Supreme Court should affirm the rights of pregnant workers
Supreme Court should affirm the rights of pregnant workers

Blocked from unionizing workplaces by ferocious management opposition and laws that fail to keep union activists from being fired, unions have begun to focus on raising wages and benefits for many more workers than they can ever expect to claim as their own. In one sense, this is nothing new: Unions historically have supported minimum wage and occupational safety laws that benefited all workers, not just their members. But they also have recently begun investing major resources in organizing drives more likely to yield new laws than new members. Some of these campaigns seek to organize workers who, rightly or wrongly, aren't even designated as employees or lack a common employer, such as domestic workers and cab drivers.

Why these new manufacturing jobs won't save the American middle class
Why these new manufacturing jobs won't save the American middle class

The decision of Seattle's government to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 resulted from just such...
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