5.1 Emerging Models of Worker Voice and Advocacy

5.1 Emerging Models of Worker Voice and Advocacy

In today’s economy we are seeing new ways of organizing work as firms engage in different business strategies and develop new organizational forms.  In many ways, these new forms of organizing work mark a departure from the traditional model of firms and, in turn, workers’ career paths within firms.

At the same time, we’re also observing changes in the way in which labor is organized. Most notably, labor unions now reach far fewer workers than they did by the mid-twentieth century. We’ve talked about this in the context of the breakdown of the social contract at work.

In this video, Christine Riordan, a doctoral student at MIT’s Institute for Work and Employment Research, takes a closer look at how the role of unions in the workplace and in the lives in working people has changed over time.

Video: The Decline of Unions in the United States

Attentiveness Question

 11.3%  close
 just under 7%  check
 just over 33%  close
 15.2%  close
Check Show Solution

Explanation By 2013, just under 7% of employees in the private sector had union membership. In the public sector, on the other hand, just over 33% of employees belonged to a union, bringing the overall (private and public sector) rate of union membership to 11.3%. By 2015, these membership rates were relatively unchanged.

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