Labor Solidarity or Union Democracy. A Different Lens on Why Private Sector Unions are Struggling to Survive in the United States
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Comparison of the constitutional provisions of the top ten United States labor unions provides understanding of the formal internal union policy mechanisms available to navigate between union locals and their internationals’ interests. In conjunction with a critical review of the history of labor since the passage of the National Labor Relation Act in 1935, my examination of intra-union provisions demonstrates that the familiar rallying calls for labor solidarity and union democracy do not always work well together and may actually be contributing to the decline in union participation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private sector union membership rate fell to 6.6% in the United States in 2014. The study is motivated by a concern to understand how and why the recent collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between The Boeing Company and the IAMAW created major divisions between District 751 and its international that are likely to affect unions ability to recruit new members and preserve current membership through support and collective bargaining.
- MA in Policy Studies