Unions in America: A British View

Unions in America: A British View

Unions in America: A British View

Unions in America: A British View

Excerpt

It is often useful to look at old problems from a new perspective. In recent years, much has been said and written in this country on the subject of labor organization, democracy within unions, and collective bargaining. As Americans, we are accustomed to analyzing the issues and problems of industrial relations at home, and we have also developed interest lately in the study of management- labor relations abroad. But, we can benefit also by having outsiders study us, particularly if they possess keen analytical ability and are familiar with the American scene. In this short volume, a prominent British labor economist looks at the problems facing American unions today as well as some of the issues posed in collective bargaining for the future.

Professor B. C. Roberts is an authority on both American and British industrial relations as well as on labor problems in other European countries. He is thoroughly familiar with the literature of American industrial relations; he has made several visits to this country; and he has established close contact over the years with a number of our prominent labor leaders, company executives and university professors. During the year 1958-1959 he returned to the United States as a visiting professor at Princeton University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he took this opportunity to review recent developments in the labor and management field. During his visit to Princeton, the Section invited him to write this brief but systematic summary of his impressions.

The subject matter of this volume is certainly not new, but some of the insights which an outsider can develop are very interesting. For example, Professor Roberts points out that the political orientations of the British and American labor movements are not as different as we have sometimes believed. "It is one of the ironies of history, . . ."

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