The Big Picture: Strengthen Unions With Robert Reich

In this video, Robert Reich describes why unions are important to the U.S. and how to strengthen them.

50 years ago, unions were "the countervailing power to business." They were successful in raising wages, improving working conditions and supported legal protections like the 40 hour work week and worker safety.

However, the decline in private sector union membership has mirrored the decline in the middle class. Reich points out that "Strong unions means a strong middle class which means a strong economy."

His three steps to strengthening unions are:

  1. Make it easier to form a union
  2. Build in real penalties to companies that violate labor laws.
  3. Overturn state  “Right to work” laws

He ends with the statement that, “if we want working Americans to get a fair share of the gains from economic growth they must be able to unionize.”