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Organized labor, Labor unions


Industrial Organization | Labor and Employment Law | Labor Economics


Today economic inequality is greater in the United States than in any other advanced nation. Bringing the minimum wage up to a true living wage is a crucial step forward, as are other employment-related benefits like broadening access to overtime and instituting paid sick leave. But employment statutes such as minimum-wage regulations cannot replace the broad-based benefits that come from organized labor. Unionization places the ability to influence what happens in the workplace directly in workers’ own hands, even as it creates institutions that can advocate for working people at the community, state, and national level. Under an effective labor-law regime, unions remain the unique vehicle for worker empowerment. As envisioned by Senator Robert Wagner more than eighty years ago, a strong union movement is the most effective tool for strengthening economic and political democracy.