*SMLR-Net, the source of selected news on labor and employment relations and human resource management.* * * Harold Meyerson writes in The Washington Post, June 12, "What Happens if America Loses Its Unions": http://wapo.st/KVVpuh
An excerpt: When unions are powerful, they boost the incomes of not only their members but also of nonunion workers in their sector or region. Princeton economist Henry Farber has shown that the wages of a nonunion worker in an industry that is 25 percent unionized are 7.5 percent higherhttp://www.lbjjournal.com/system/files/2005_Spring_06_The_Problem_of_the_Declining_Real_Wage.pdf because of that unionization. Today, however, few industries have so high a rate of unionization, and a consequence is that unions can no longer win the kinds of wages and benefits they used to.
Deunionization is just one reason Americans’ incomes have declined, of course; globalization has taken its toll as well. But the declining share of pretax income going to wages is chiefly the result of the weakening of unions, which is the main reason American managers now routinely seek to thwart their workers’ attempts to unionize through legally questionable but economically rewarding tactics (rewarding, that is, for the managers).
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