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Fewer than 12 percent of U.S. workers belong to unions, and union membership rates are falling in much of the world. With tremendous growth in inequality within and between countries, steady or indeed rising unemployment and underemployment, and the marked increase in precarious work and migration, can unions still play a role in raising wages and improving work conditions?
This book provides a critical evaluation of labor unions both in the U.S. and globally, examining the factors that have led to the decline of union power and arguing that, despite their challenges, unions still have a vital part to play in the global economy. Stephanie Luce explores the potential sources of power that unions might have, and emerging new strategies and directions for the growth of global labor movements, such as unions, worker centers, informal sector organizations, and worker co-operatives, helping workers resist the impacts of neoliberalism. She shows that unions may in fact be more relevant now than ever.
This important assessment of labor movements in the global economy will be required reading for advanced undergraduates and graduate students of political and economic sociology, the sociology of work, and social movements.
Stephanie Luce is an Associate Professor of Labor Studies at the Murphy Institute, City University of New York. She is a leading expert on living wages. Professor Luce worked as an economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and a Congressional Commission on Agricultural Workers before earning her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999. She has also worked as a researcher at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy and the Political Economy Research Institute.