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Book Chapter

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Events in recent decades have dramatized the need for labor attention beyond narrow issues of wages and working conditions. In the face of widespread industrial disinvestment, unions have been hard-pressed to protect the job status or employment, or the future of their members. At the same time, the developing labor law has narrowed the range of bargaining opportunities for unions to affect corporate decisions-the very decisions that result in job dislocations and corporate transformations. The effectiveness of strikes has been undermined by growing use of permanent replacement workers.

To thrive in the coming decades, unions must carve out a new and expanded role. A critical component of an expanded labor role is for unions to exercise the rights of capital and to tread on traditional management prerogatives. With an active role in finance and capital and a greater voice for rank-and-file workers in the process, unions can increase workers' say in shaping the changing workplace and the broader political economy.

Publication Title

Unions and Public Policy: The New Economy, Law and Democratic Politics

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