Globalizations Effect on Labor Unions

1670 WordsFeb 17, 20187 Pages
Labor unions once represented a significant portion of the entire United States labor force, peaking at around 35 percent in the 1950’s (Vachon). However, this percentage has steadily declined over the decade and nowadays only 12% of the labor force is unionized (Vachon). In many obvious ways, globalization has complicated the labor movement by stratifying it into domestic and international spheres. Globalization, the rapid increases in the pace and accessibility of world markets, is a relatively recent phenomenon that unions must confront. Nations, corporations, and workers find themselves increasingly subjected to the whims of the international market. Consequently, these international economic forces have superseded national and local contexts to shape labor movements and unions. It is within the context of an internationalized world that corporations are no longer confined to a centralized location. Corporate foreign investment and the rise of importation have become the catalysts for corporate relocation and the deindustrialization of domestic industry. Factories close in the United States and reopen in foreign countries where the cost of labor is cheaper and due to the lack of unionization and rudimentary work conditions. The growth of transnational corporations has served to derail traditional segments of the U.S. labor movement. In a globalized world, transnational corporations hold more bargaining power than the workers. To combat this radical change, unions have
Open Document