The influence of organized labor in the American workplace continues to decline as the percent organized in the private sector has fallen from 36% in 1953 to less than 8% at the present time. Although a variety of demographic and economic factors have contributed to this decline, a combination of high organizing costs and high membership attrition due to work restructuring in the global economy of the information age has left organized labor in the tenuous position of having to spend an ever larger share of union dues on organizing, merely to slow the rate of decline in the percent organized. Professor Dau-Schmidt discusses these trends in light of recent developments in industries of traditional union strength such as automotive and steel, strategies in organizing, the legal environment and the recent departure of a number of unions from the AFL-CIO.
Allison Beck, Nicholas W. Clark, and Michael A. Rodriguez provide commentary on the lecture.
The annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture is sponsored by Chicago-Kent College of Law's Institute for Law and the Workplace. It is presented by the Kenneth M. Piper Endowment, which was established by a gift from Mrs. Kenneth M. Piper in memory of her husband. Mr. Piper was a distinguished executive with Motorola, Inc., and Bausch & Lomb, Inc., who made important contributions in human resources and labor relations for more than two decades.
Dau-Schmidt, Kenneth G.; Beck, Allison; Clark, Nicholas W.; and Rodriguez, Michael A., "The Future of Collective Bargaining - The 28th Annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture" (2006). Institute for Law and the Workplace Lectures. 7.