By Bob Byran – Business Insider
“A strong union movement is not simply sufficient for high levels of intergenerational mobility and middle-class membership, but it could be necessary,” wrote the researchers.
“If that is the case, it will be difficult to meaningfully increase intergenerational mobility and rebuild the middle class without also rebuilding unions or some comparable worker-based organizations.”
“The decline of unionism appears to have contributed to the shrinkage of the middle-income group of the workforce and the increasing proportion of the lower income group, with a noticeable but not huge magnitude commensurate with unions’ declining role in the US labor market,” said the report.
The researchers explain that some of the changes that unions fight for create a spillover effect for non-unionized families. “Unions generally advocate policies that benefit workers, such as raising minimum wages, increasing education spending, and improving public services, so that the effect of unionism may show up in higher incomes for all children from the area regardless of the union status of their parents,” said the study.