6 Reasons Why Unions Are Essential to Creating Broadly Based Prosperity

(Reposted from AFL-CIO, www.aflcio.org/Blog/Economy/6-Reasons-Why-Unions-Are-Essential-to-Creating-Broadly-Based-Prosperity, and from the Roosevelt Institute, rooseveltinstitute.org/policy-and-ideas/big-ideas/report-future-work-america-policies-empower-american-workers-and-secure-p)

At the end of March, the Roosevelt Institute launched a new project, the Future of Work, which takes a look at the changing landscape in the area of workers’ rights and representation in the political and economic system that affects their lives. Author Richard Kirsch does a great job of explaining the economy and discussing potential policy solutions in a report titled The Future of Work in America: Policies to Empower American Workers and Secure Prosperity for All.

Kirsch said:

The Future of Work is bringing together thought and action leaders from multiple fields to re-imagine a 21st century social contract that expands workers’ rights and increases the number of living wage jobs. The Future of Work is focusing on three areas: Promoting new and innovative strategies for worker organizing and representation; raising the floor of labor market standards and strengthening enforcement of labor laws and standards; and assuring access to good jobs for women and workers of color.

This report, Policies to Empower American Workers and Secure Prosperity for All (594 KB PDF), is an introduction to the first area: policies to invigorate worker organizing. The report is in four parts:

  • A history of how organized workers fueled America’s broadly shared prosperity;
  • A history of how the weakening of American labor led to the shrinking of America’s middle class;
  • A primer on American labor law;
  • Policy ideas to reform and transform worker organizing.
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