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Thu Jan 14, 2016, 10:45 AM

Attack on unions shows why we need a new social contract governing work

Labor legislation passed in the New Deal (minimum wages and overtime protections, social security, unemployment insurance and the right to unionize) provided the foundation for that social contract, and collective bargaining made it work by negotiating wage increases in tandem with productivity growth.

But at least in part because those policies and practices could not cope well with developments since 1980 – such as globalization and corporate short-termism – the country has experienced three decades of wage stagnation, rising income inequality and the erosion of the social safety net that was designed to ensure basic protections and minimum employment standards.

Restoring such a safety net, which would be further eroded if the Supreme Court rules against the unions, will require broadening the circle of debate to engage the powerful interest groups that don’t necessarily share the view that changes are needed.

Given the hopeless gridlock in Congress on labor policy issues, the best path forward might be to focus on private sector leaders and those on the front lines of innovations that might just help identify the features of a new social compact.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/attack-on-unions-shows-why-we-need-a-new-social-contract-governing-work/

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