How can the US strengthen unions?
By Robert Reich, The Christian Science Monitor
In the US, the decline of the middle class is nearly identical to the decline of American labor union membership. What does this mean for the future of unions and the US economy?
One big reason America was far more equal in the 1950s and 1960s than now is unions were stronger then. That gave workers bargaining power to get a fair share of the economy’s gains – and unions helped improve wages and working conditions for everyone.
But as union membership has weakened – from more than a third of all private-sector workers belonging unions in the 1950s to fewer than 7 percent today – the bargaining power of average workers has all but disappeared.