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DISCUSSION: Labor Experts Discuss the State of Unions

April 28, 2015

Labor experts discussed the current state of unionization efforts throughout the U.S. at an April 23 panel discussion presented by the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC.

Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson moderated the panel, which included:

  • Sarita Gupta, Executive Director, Jobs With Justice
  • Ruth Milkman, Research Director of the City University of New York‘s Murphy Labor Institute
  • David Rolf, President, SEIU 775, and founder and co-chair, The Workers Lab
  • Judge Laura Safer Espinoza, Executive Director, Fair Food Standards Council
  • Cruz Salucio, Spokesperson, Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Just over 11 percent of U.S. workers were union members in 2014, down from nearly 35 percent in 1954, the panel members noted. They discussed the reasons for this decline, including the growing number of state laws and court decisions that have directly challenged workers’ right to organize.

The panel discussion was part of the “Working in America” series presented by the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hitachi Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation.

— by Matthew Ozga

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