Richard North Patterson had this article in The Bulwark on the importance of union protections for democratic resilience:
In the last forty years, the power of American labor has plummeted. In 1983, unions represented 20 percent of American workers. Today it’s half that, and unions are besieged.
We’ve been here before. In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt faced the yawning economic gulf between workers and the top 1 percent—which preceded, but was worsened by, the Great Depression. He determined to give American workers a “more equitable opportunity to share in the distribution of national wealth.” The Wagner Act vastly strengthened employee bargaining power by giving workers the right to choose their own union free from employer interference.
Four decades of shared prosperity followed. But 1970s America saw two converging economic forces—the decline of unions, and the socially corrosive rise of income inequality.
Read the full article here.