I was a little perplexed by the title of this post by Rita McGrath (post here). Perhaps it is simply my temperament and perception of today’s unions. Even when I was washing dishes and slinging hash, I never only once seriously considered entering a unionized workforce (I had a brush w/ UPS).
I would find it hard to work in a seniority — not performance-based — culture. The union label on a product used to mean something. Is still does in highly-skilled trades. But too many white collar unions have lost the focus on craft and quality; in fact, they seem hostile to it. Not my cup of tea…
However, I think McGrath has a point about how greed, bailouts, and globalization may well drive employees to try collective action, bargaining, or representation again:
To me, it’s a powerful testament to the laws of unintended consequences and the idea that every action prompts an equal and opposite reaction. If the ways in which large corporations wield power over their people is increasingly seen as unfair or even illegitimate, we can expect a lot more momentum on the part of labor.
Given all that, does the labor movement look more attractive to you these days?