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Chapter 6 - Chapter 6 Union Strategies and Structures for...

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Chapter 6: Union Strategies and Structures for Representing Workers Unions and Politics Labor movement devoted its efforts to CB as opposed to political action More concerned with improving labor conditions o Business unionism American Unions do have a Political Agenda o Played a role in social security, medicare, child development, civil rights act of 1964 o Ardent in fed legislation that improves working conditions Minimum wage, Occupational Safety and health Act, Davis Beacon procedures, etc o Play a role in state and local politics Labor’s Voice in National and Corporate Affairs o AFL-CIO has assisted political candidates who support labor, trade, and other economic and social policies Generally democratic o John Sweeny President of AFL-CIO 1995 Created Department of Corporate Affairs Convinces corporate behavior to be more responsive to worker interest regardless of union organization o 2002 it went to court following the accounting scandal and bankruptcy at Enron to get the company’s former ees moved from the bottom to the top of the list of of creditors in claims against the company Builds community-industry coalitions to promote workplace innovation and reforms o Helped workers and families after 9/11 Labor’s Role in Coalition Politics o “Living Wage” Campaign Requires companies to pay workers above required min wage Worked in coalitions with interest groups o Labor’s role with politics focuses on more informal issue-oriented Union Growth and Membership Characteristics o Union Membership figures: The loci of membership o Union membership peaked in the mid-1940s at 35% o 1960 declined to 31& o 2006 12.0% o Industrial Sector o Explosion of unions in gov employment during 1960s and 1970s highly
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