Are Labor Unions Becoming Irrelevant?

WITHIN ONE SHORT YEAR—the year 1982—three well-known American union leaders called on me for counsel—the president of a large union of government employees, the president of a large union in a primary industry, and the head of a large district of a mass-production union. Each came with his own specific concerns. Yet each one asked—and fairly soon—whether the labor union still has a function in America or is becoming irrelevant.

Each of these men believes that to remain legitimate and to continue to be accepted as the spokesman, representative, and defender of the American working people, ...

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