Saturday, September 19, 2009

Unions and the Future of America

The AFL-CIO has annointed a new boss - Richard Trumka, who in his acceptance speech says he wants to change the face of the labor movement in America. But listen closely and one will hear the same tired formula. Card check, public health insurance, anti-management rhetoric... all ignore the fact that wrestling for a 'bigger slice' of a shrinking pie is what led unions to their current sorry state, representing only 12% of the workforce in America. Mr. Trumka is singing from the same songbook as his predecessors and fewer Americans, worried about their futures, are singing along. Politicians who cast their lot with him are, by definition, marginalized. If Mr. Trumka is truly interested in participating in America's new social compact he has to talk about value creation in a globalized economy. This means partnering, not fighting, with investors, management, and the community to improve human capital and strategic flexibility.

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