Question: 1 Do we need labor unions to counterbalance the power

1. Do we need labor unions to counterbalance the power of big corporations? Explain.
2. In the 2013 protests described at the beginning of the chapter, fast-food workers asked for higher wages; protesters in Los Angeles asked for a $ 15 an hour minimum wage. Supporters of a wage increase for fast-food workers point to the fast-food industry’s large profits and generous executive salaries. What are the arguments both for and against a wage increase for fast-food workers? Explain.
According to a 2013 Pew poll, over half of Americans have a favorable view of labor unions, having rebounded nearly 10 percent from 2011.8 However, laws curtailing the power of unions have been passed in state legislatures. For example, in 2011, Wisconsin passed a law restricting public-sector employees’ collective-bargaining rights. In 2012, Michigan, known as the home of the unionized auto worker, became a “right to work” state, discussed later in this chapter.9 A shift away from traditional unionized industries along with union corruption have certainly played big roles in union struggles, but union supporters say corporate resistance has made organizing very difficult. Working America, an organization allied with the AFL-CIO, seeks to engage nonunion members in unions’ political causes, which may help increase workplace activism.10

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