Unions in America provides a concise and current introduction to what America's labor unions do and why they do it. In this engaging text, author Gary Chaison portrays America's unions as complex, self-governing organizations that are struggling to regain their lost membership, bargaining power, and political influence. This accessible textbook offers an impartial overview of American unions that ranges from the struggle for recognition from employers in their earliest years to their present-day difficulties.
Chapter Five: Unions in Politics
Unions in Politics
When we look at the unions’ role in politics, we see clear limits to their power. Unions are strongest when they work through coalitions but the results help workers in general rather than unions and their members. They have had some notable victories and near victories, for example, in the area of foreign trade, but their losses have been stunning, such as in the 2004 national elections. They were major forces behind the passage of historic legislation affecting the workplace, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, but for nearly three decades they could not get Congress to reform the basic law of collective bargaining. Unions are greatly respected in ...