Are (New) Unions the Answer?

Feb 3, 2009

As we read on the Drum Major Institute's blog, American union membership has been growing, albeit slightly, after decades of steady decline. These unions have been fundamental in securing employee benefits packages. And, as Robert Reich argues, they could be instrumental in recovering from our current economic crisis by holding up middle-class wages and benefits. (In another case, union solidarity encouraged one "Union Gal" to take a pay cut.) Freelancers Union membership has mushroomed, reflecting that freelancers make up a third of the workforce. Independent workers need a “new unionism,” one based on organizations like ours that bring people together to access services and create a unified voice for advocacy. One thing Freelancers Union can't do, of course, is negotiate wages for its members. But we are working on a kind of unemployment protection. What are your thoughts or suggestions for strengthening the new union? photo: Tobias Higbie (flickr)