But now a surprising source has reached the same conclusion. The International Monetary Fund says that “The decline in unionization is related to the rise of top income shares and less redistribution, while the erosion of minimum wages is correlated with considerable increases in overall inequality.” The IMF study examined 20 advanced economies between 1980 and 2010. Long a bastion of pro-employer policies, the IMF is not willing to go so far as to recommend the obvious. Acknowledging its findings can “suggest that higher unionization and minimum wages can help reduce inequality,” the IMF dodges the logical conclusion to pursue such policies, saying its data “do not constitute a blanket recommendation for more unionization or higher minimum wages.”
For more on the latest local labor news and updates, go to dclabor.org; for up-to-date listings for labor activities, click on calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1970, members of the National Football League Players Association began what was to be a 2-day strike, their first. The issues: pay, pensions, the right to arbitration and the right to have agents.
In 1981, a fifty-day baseball strike ended.
And in 1999, the Great Shipyard Strike of 1999 ended after Steelworkers at Newport News Shipbuilding ratified a breakthrough agreement which nearly doubled pensions, increased security, ended inequality, and provided the highest wage increases in company and industry history to nearly 10,000 workers at the yard. The strike lasted 15 weeks.
Today’s labor quote is by Israelmore Ayivor:
“Don't give up! It seems difficult to you, right? Why not do something little about it every day? A little strike each day can chop down big trees. Give it a try!”
Israelmore Ayivor, born and raised in Ghana, West Africa, is a youth leadership coach, leadership entrepreneur, author and speaker.