For many years, American workers directly or indirectly benefited from union representation. The 30-35 percent of employees actually represented by labor organizations in the late 1950s and early 1960s had their wages and benefits negotiated by those unions. Nonunion workers obtained similar benefits from employers seeking to remain nonunion. Over the past 50 years, private sector union membership has declined significantly to under 8 percent today. The individual employee has no bargaining power and must accept whatever he or she is offered. Workers have no say in firm decisions that directly affect their employment security and working conditions. The U.S. should consider federal regulations that would require all larger employers to establish employee involvement committees at each local facility that would be provided with relevant information and consulted before employers could make corporate decisions that will meaningfully affect employee interests. Workers should also have the right to elect one-third or one-quarter of corporate board members to provide them with a voice at the top managerial levels.
GW Paper Series
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 305; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 305
Charles B. Craver, Mandatory Worker Participation is Required in a Declining Union Environment to Provide Employees With Meaningful Industrial Democracy, 66 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 135 (1997).