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The Big Picture: Strengthen Unions with Robert Reich

Another installment of ‘The Big Picture: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy’ with Robert Reich: ‘Strengthen Unions.’

As union membership has weakened from more than a third of all private sector workers belonging to unions in the 1950s to fewer than 7% today, that decline has mirrored almost exactly the decline of the middle-class. Years ago, unions were the great countervailing power to business. […] We must enact a federal law that overturns the so-called Right to Work laws. Don’t be fooled by the name. It’s a back door to destroying unions… Wages in Right to Work states are lower than wages in non- Right to Work states on an average of about $6,000 a year. ~ Robert Reich

Sometimes people don’t understand that a stronger union presence in the work economy helps all workers in the overall workforce – by raising the bar for wages and worker protections. You know how non-union employers say they offer ‘competitive wages?’ That is only helpful if they must actually compete with union companies that offer higher wages.

How to Strengthen Unions

  • Make it easier for workers to unionize
  • Penalize companies that break the laws
  • Overturn state ‘Right to Work’ laws

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‘The Big Picture: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy’ is a collaborative project between Robert Reich and MoveOn.Org.


About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.

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