Rights at Work: Employment Relations in the Post-Union Era

Rights at Work: Employment Relations in the Post-Union Era

Rights at Work: Employment Relations in the Post-Union Era

Rights at Work: Employment Relations in the Post-Union Era

Synopsis

With growing international competition, American firms have been faced with increasing pressures to produce better products, cut costs, and improve efficiency. As a result, American employers have changed many of their long-standing labor priorities. With this large reorganization of work forces and priorities, Americans are again faced with the significant question of what rights workers have--and should have--in the workplace.

Excerpt

We are in the midst of the greatest alteration in the world of work since industrialization and agricultural mechanization combined to displace the vast majority of farm workers in Western countries. Over the last generation in the United States, the steady decline in percentage of the work force employed in manufacturing and the dramatic increase in competition from overseas have battered employees in one industry after another. No wonder the world of work seems to be changing in an almost bewildering fashion. Intensified by a shaky global economy and technological advances, this evolution in the workplace has heightened the sense of careers at risk and uncertain economic futures.

The way that work is done has changed as a result, raising substantial questions about the relative leverage of labor and thus about the rights of workers versus those of employers. Not surprisingly, these differences have resulted in significant shifts in the way that workers think about their employers and the way employers think about employees.

For past generations, the usual roads to success were hard work, learning a skill and joining a union, or getting a college education. Today, almost a quarter of recent college graduates are accepting jobs that do not require a college education, unions are continuing . . .

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