Unions, the Economy, and Employee Free Choice
Publication Date: February 2007
Publisher(s): Economic Policy Institute
Author(s): Harley Shaiken
This examination of the state of unionism in the United States is composed of four sections. In the first, titled the "Great Disconnect," I examine the broken link between the rise of productivity and stagnant or even falling real wages, a trend that has led to the growth of inequality. In the second section, "High Road," I explore the union advantage in wages and benefits and then look at the relationship between unionization and competitiveness. I argue that unions can provide a high road to competitiveness: a combination of higher productivity and better wages that result in a stronger economy. The third section is a historical snapshot that provides a brief overview of the Wagner Act, from its passage to today. Finally, I conclude this Briefing Paper with a discussion of the Employee Free Choice Act itself.