Monday, September 23, 2013

The Economist, September 14, 2013, Saturday

The Economist

September 14, 2013, Saturday

The Economist (full article)

New labour, alt-labour

The AFL-CIO’s move, says Lowell Turner of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labour Relations, merely reflects broader changes in the labour movement over the past 20 years. As traditional unions have floundered, so-called “alt-labour” groups, which agitate for workers’ rights in non-unionised sectors, have stepped in. (In 2003 the AFL-CIO created its own arm for non-union workers, Working America, through which much of its new activity will be channelled.) Demonstrations and strikes at Walmart and, most recently, a string of fast-food chains have won publicity and spread the idea of workplace organisation, even if results have been thin. The AFL-CIO hopes to tap this energy and, where appropriate, lend it institutional clout.