Labor policy in the United States has been marked by two self defeating attitudes. First, while public policy prescribes a ritualized system of collective bargaining, in most substantive areas policy is silent or reactive, allowing employers broad discretion over work organization, worker training, and incomes policy. At the same time, labor and business leaders are consumed by an us-versus-them mentality in which there can be only one winner.
Labor policies in other countries suggest how a labor movement can be stronger yet at the same time more friendly to a high-wage, highe-productivity path. That path, in turn, can offer new ways to revive the labor movement.