Samuel Estreicher

Recent Articles

Employee Voice in Competitive Markets

The new global economy demands new models of worker regulation.

U .S. private sector unionism is in decline. From a high of around 35 percent of the private nonagricultural work force in 1954, unions now represent under 13 percent of private sector workers. Absent reform of the labor relations system, the trend is clear. Unions will remain a significant force in government employment, big-city commercial construction, and certain shrinking manufacturing industries. Aside from these pockets of unionism, however, workplace-based representation of the interests of working people will become a distinctly marginal phenomenon. The prospect of employee voice disappearing in private firms should be a cause for public concern. A labor-friendly administration in Washington has opened a window of opportunity to revisit basic ground rules. Such openings are rare in our political history and should not be squandered. The consensus among academic commentators sympathetic to organized labor, such as Paul Weiler of the Harvard Law School and Richard Freeman of...