I think that sectoral sebrecht has several advantages over collective bargaining at the enterprise or employment level. Where I think you and I are starting with a great convergence is that things are not going very well for most American workers right now. Wages have stagnated for a generation. Intergenerational economic mobility is now lower than at any time since the Second World War. The risk and cost of retirement and higher education have been transferred from employers and governments to families. The costs of housing, higher education and health care have increased by 2.5 times up to 7 times faster than wages. Thank you for inviting you to discuss what is wrong with U.S. labor law, how to fix it and the sectoral bargaining potential in particular. I was thinking of using this first volleyball to share my own reflection on the history, course, successes and failures of 85 years of American labor law and unions, which is why I think sectoral negotiations are a much better model than the employment and enterprise-based bargaining system, which has largely failed American workers. But the U.S. labour law system – the rules for organizing workers in unions, then their collective bargaining with employers – is on its deathbed, with only 6% of private sector workers covered by collective agreements, while a record number of American workers, especially Millennials, would prefer to be represented by a union.
This is partly because the attacks by employers and their political assistants on unions have been so effective, but the underlying problem is that the United States first has a body of flawed labour laws that create unions that were at the same time too optimized for employment conflicts, but were too weak to impose themselves. , are too focused on existing members and employers and are not sufficiently focused on a broader economy or the common good. Employers, on the other hand, are encouraged to oppose unions and undermine the power of workers, even if it is a long-term poor return. Third, unions and employers can focus on more than their differences on the issue of union representation and labour costs, which are addressed through inter-professional agreements and not through workplace disputes: partnerships to enable workers` voices and productivity improvements by works councils, the introduction of union benefits and the calibration of bargaining demands to stimulate economic growth , the high level of employment and the long-term competitiveness of a country`s industry. I have enjoyed our discussions on this subject over the past few years and I am curious to see how your views have evolved. Is it despairing that a former progressive leader like me imagines a potential area of convergence with a political leader like you? Meanwhile, trade unions have faced their own perverse incentives. Only union members vote in union elections and only trade unionists pay taxes, so many unions have tended to focus solely on the short-term economic benefits of their existing members, not to organize competition or forge long-term partnerships with industry to improve quality and productivity. , with compensation, which in turn further encouraged companies to tolerate trade unions. at least if they had another choice.