by Jon Melegrito | June 13, 2012
What happens when workers’ ability to collectively bargain is weakened?
Income inequality rises. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, which juxtaposes the historical trajectory of union density and the income share claimed by the richest 10 percent of Americans.
Ever-rising economic inequality, the study says, corresponds to the declining power of unions. As Harold Meyerson points out in The Washington Post, “When unions are powerful, they boost the incomes of not only their members but also of nonunion workers … the declining share of pretax income going to wages is the main reason American managers now routinely seek to thwart their workers’ attempts to unionize through legally questionable but economically rewarding tactics (rewarding, that is, for the managers.)”