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.
With rising frequency and a clear sense of emergency, union activists and industrial relations scholars are laying out their proposals for union revival. Some call for quick fixes that pay off in the short run while others prescribe major overhauls of what unions do and promise long-term gains. Some proposals focus on changes within unions; others deal with changes in the legal and economic context in which unions operate. It would be presumptuous to try to appraise the proposals in this chapter—each could produce some gains for unions, whether through more members or more influence, and only time will tell what works best and has a lasting impact. Instead, we trace the common threads that run through proposals for revival to get ...