Business: Labor Comes to a Crossroads

The choice: new directions or a path of further decline

Next Monday, under hundreds of poplar trees and atop thousands of platforms, union leaders and politicians will ringingly praise the vigor of organized labor. The rhetoric will bear little resemblance to reality, for the truth about America's union movement has become too embarrassing for a holiday oration. On the 84th U.S. Labor Day, the movement seems in parlous shape: its membership, as a percentage of the non-farm work force, down to a 41-year low; its legislation repeatedly blocked by newly potent business lobbies and skeptical, inflation-wary...

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