Tag: pro act

Background Briefing: September 6, 2021


The Paradox That Americans Support Labor Unions Yet Only 6.3% of the Private Workforce is Unionized

We begin on this Labor Day with the paradox that in the latest Gallup poll, 68% of respondents said they favor Labor Unions which is the highest Level since 1965 but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 6.3% of workers in the private sector are union members. Joining us is Dr. Harley Shaiken, who is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley where he studies labor, information technology, the organization of work, global economic integration, and trade. We discuss the fate of The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act, which would carry out the most sweeping changes to collective bargaining laws in more than 70 years. Having already passed the Democratic-controlled House, it needs all 50 Democrats in the Senate to pass through budget reconciliation but so far Arizona’s Senator Kyrsten Sinema is holding out.


The Fate on the PRO Act in the Hands of Senator Sinema

Then we speak with Lawrence Mishel, who is a distinguished fellow and the former president of the Economic Policy Institute where his latest report is titled, “CEO pay has skyrocketed 1,322% since 1978. CEOs were paid 351 times as much as a typical worker in 2020.” However, on the bright side workers are gaining more power over wages and employment as the labor market heats up and Larry Mishel predicts that unemployment will continue to drop by the end of 2022.


Deindustrialized Union Jobs Are Being Replaced by Low-Paying Jobs in the Healthcare Sector

Then finally we speak with Gabriel Winant, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Chicago whose writing about work, inequality, and capitalism in modern America has appeared in The Nation, the New Republic, Dissent, and n+1. He is the author of The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America and we discuss how de-industrialization has led to the so-called care industry replacing high-paying union jobs with low-paying jobs in the bloated healthcare sector.