How the American Labor Movement Can Counter “Right to Work” Campaigns against Unions

Source: Raymond Hogler, Scholars Strategy Network, Key Findings, July 2014

Union membership in the United States is declining and income inequality is rising – and most researchers see a connection. Growing income gaps over the past three decades may well be partly explained by the loss of bargaining power that organized labor exercised from the end of World War II until the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980. Because unions have less leverage, wages stagnate even as economic productivity goes up. But why are American workers no longer able to organize into labor unions and strike to force employers to share the benefits of economic activity? Answering that question requires attention to political outlooks and efforts in the U.S. states as well as at the national level. …