The Unions Try Self-Criticism

The Unions Try Self-Criticism

The American labor movement is being battered by tides of change. Union membership as a proportion of the total work force is down; relative wages
are declining; hard-won work rules are being surrendered; and employers are sowing the seeds of future discord by insisting on two-tier wage scales.

Labor lobbyists can’t get their full-employment economic program on the congressional agenda; labor’s candidate Walter Mondale abandoned the AFL–CIO’s industrial policy; and Mondale’s chief opponent, Gary Hart, made union-bashing a feature of his primary campaign. Little wonder that the Reagan National Labor Relations Board feels free to overturn half a century of collective-bargaining practice.

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Duggan | University of California Press Gardels