Ruminations on Union Organizing in the Private Sector, 53 University of Chicago Law Review 45 (1986)
The labor movement in the United States is in trouble. This fact is now widely accepted even by leaders of the AFL-CIO. It is also generally agreed that loss of membership and failure to organize are the most powerful indications of the movement's decline. One of the few bright spots from the perspective of a union sup- porter is that labor seems finally to have rediscovered the crucial significance of organizing. The recently concluded AFL-CIO convention was largely devoted to organizing manifestos and plans.' Despite this awakening there is still disagreement and confusion about the causes or cures for labor's organizing setbacks. The official view held by a majority of labor leaders is that organizing failures are largely attributable to the changing workforce and to management's increasing use of sophisticated union-busting techniques without interference by the currently anti-labor National Labor Relations Board. The trend could be reversed by reforming labor law, or by changing the membership of the Board. Short of that, unions must appeal to the employees' self-interest by becoming direct providers of economic benefits, and by promising that union benefits will continue regardless of the waning power of the labor movement. This view is a comfortable one for organized labor be- cause it locates the causes of labor's difficulties outside the unions' areas of control and responsibility
Date of Authorship for this Version
labor movement, organization, unions
Getman, Julius G., "Ruminations on Union Organizing in the Private Sector" (1986). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 4396.