Running head: LABOR RELATIONS DQ 7 1
LABOR RELATIONS DQ 7 3
Peer Response Post 1
3. Explain the concept of solidarity unionism. Would it increase or decrease labor’s bargaining power because it is considered more adversarial than cooperative? Why?
One of several proposals for increasing the strength of the U.S. labor movement, solidarity unionism seeks to enhance solidarity or cohesiveness within and across workplaces. Rather than focusing on ways to cooperate with employers, solidarity unionism sees its role as one of protector and advocate for worker rights. “solidarity unionism is the closest to the existing model of business unionism—as illustrated by solidarity unionism’s focus on strengthening collective bargaining. Relative to some proposals that emphasize greater responsiveness to business concerns, proponents of solidarity unionism make no apologies for championing a strong labor movement as the protector of worker interests in opposition to management. Unions are seen as a needed force of worker power and protection; the problem with the current weakness of unions is not that most American workers have no representative to develop and to express their views on the business strategies and tactics, or the personnel policies and benefits, chosen by their employers. The problem is that American workers have lost power—power to extract a larger share of the returns of American enterprise and power to protect individual employees from arbitrary, unjust, or discriminatory treatment by their managers” (Budd, 2018, Pg.467).It is more likely to emphasize the differences between management and worker goals and look to ways to increase power and protection through the mobilization of workers and aggressive organizing and representation tactics. Solidarity unionism proposal include the concept of nonmajority unions, reduced union bureaucracy, grassroots activism, and occupational unionism. The solidarity model is quite close to the traditional business unionism model, with the distinction of greater worker involvement and activism.
I came across an interesting book that touched on solidarity. “In our view, solidarity unionism is not an organizing formula. It is what workers do naturally when they have common problems. For example, in the New York Times for June 11, 2010, an article appeared titles “An Independent Labor Movement Stirs in China.” According to the article, the workers developed their own organization when employees in each department met and elected shop stewards to represent them. They demanded the right to form new trade unions separate from the government controlled national trade union federation “which has long focused on maintaining labor peace for foreign investors” (Gross, Lynd, & Keough, 2011).
Budd, J. W. (2018). Pg.309-312. Labor Relations, Striking a Balance (5th ed.), New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Gross, D., Lynd, S., & Keough, T. (2011). Solidarity unionism at Starbucks. Oakland, CA: PM Press.