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June 16, 2004

Press contact: Allegra Young, (512) 471-7330, UT Law
Press contact: Megan Scarborough (512) 471-8954, LBJ School

Book contact: For order information and book availability, call 512/471-4218, e-mail: pubsinfo@uts.cc.utexas.edu, or write to: Office of Communications, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, Box Y, Austin, TX 78713-8925. The Future of Labor Unions is published under the Institute and Seminar Proceedings Series imprint and costs $25.00 (ISBN 0-89940-119-8). Information is also available online at The LBJ School of Public Affairs Website.

Professors Getman, Marshall Release New Book: The Future of Labor Unions: Organized Labor in the 21st Century

Cover of The Future of Getman and Marshall's "Labor Unions: Organized Labor in the 21st Century"
The Future of Labor Unions

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin School of Law announced Wednesday that award-winning author and professor, Jack Getman, and Ray Marshall, the former Secretary of Labor under President Jimmy Carter, have published a volume of essays called, The Future of Labor Unions: Organized Labor in the 21st Century.

The new book of essays stem from last year's conference in Washington, D.C., where 50 distinguished international business and labor leaders and scholars discussed topics such as the impact of the war on terrorism on labor policy and law, immigration and organizing, and the strengths and weaknesses of 21st century labor unions in the U.S., Europe and the developing world. The book is available from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

About the book:

This volume of edited essays examines the past and considers the future of labor unions. Unions have played a key role in shaping the economic, industrial, and political systems of all industrialized democracies. They have provided a voice for workers on the job, and they have fought for liberal and progressive ideas in democratic governments and in society. Indeed, a basic democratic industrial principle is the impossibility of having free and democratic societies without free and democratic labor organizations. American foreign policy has been guided by this principle since World War II, and labor organizations were major factors in the transition to democracy in many places, including India, South Africa, Latin America, and Poland. American unions are not and have not been as strong politically or economically as their counterparts in Western Europe, but nevertheless they have contributed to the policies and institutions that produced the longest period of broadly shared prosperity in U.S. history from the Great Depression through the 1970s.

In the past 30 years, more intense domestic and foreign competition, along with dramatic technological and demographic changes, have weakened private sector unions everywhere, especially in the United States where, unlike Western Europe, unions are not buttressed by labor political parties. Public sector unions remain strong, but their relatively small numbers are not sufficient to counteract the decline in private sector union membership.

These developments raise the issue of the future of unions in post-mass production economies. This volume brings together some leading union, management, and academic experts with diverse views to explore this question from an international perspective but with a focus on the United States.

The consensus of the contributors of this volume is that labor organizations are as important in modern economies as they were in mass production systems, but their viability depends on developing the appropriate structures and policies to represent workers' interests under modern conditions. There is also agreement that democratic institutions and shared prosperity require the United States and other countries to reform their policies to better enable workers to organize to protect and promote their workplace as well as political and societal interests.

About the editors:

Julius Getman holds the Earl E. Sheffield Regents Chair in Law. He is a preeminent scholar in the field of labor law, where he pioneered empirical studies and continues to do extensive field work. He came to Texas in 1986 from Yale Law School, where he was the William K. Townsend Professor of Law. He has also taught at Stanford Law School, University of Chicago Law School, and Georgetown University Law Center. He is author of The Betrayal of Local 14: Paperworkers, Politics and Permanent Replacements (Cornell, 1998) and In the Company of Scholars: The Struggle for the Soul of Higher Education (Texas, 1992); and co-author of both Union Representation Elections: Law and Reality (Russell Sage Foundation, 1976) and Labor Relations: The Basic Processes, Law and Practice (Foundation, 1988). He is a former President of the American Association of University Professors.

Ray Marshall is the Professor Emeritus and Audre and Bernard Rapoport Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. A member of the UT Austin faculty since 1962, he came to the LBJ School in 1981 after serving for four years as U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Carter administration. Professor Marshall was a member of the Clinton administration's National Skills Standards Board and the Advisory Commission on Labor Diplomacy. In addition, he is co-chair of the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, a member of the board of the Economic Policy Institute, and a member of the Commission on State and Local Public Service. He is also chair of the board of the National Center on Education and the Economy and is the President of the International Labor Rights Fund. He is author of more than thirty books and monographs, including Thinking for a Living: Education and the Wealth of Nations, and Back to Shared Prosperity, and retired from teaching at the LBJ School in September 1998.

How to obtain a book:

The LBJ School of Public Affairs publishes a wide range of public policy issue titles. For order information and book availability, call 512/471-4218, e-mail: pubsinfo@uts.cc.utexas.edu, or write to: Office of Communications, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, Box Y, Austin, TX 78713-8925. It is published under the Institute and Seminar Proceedings Series imprint and costs $25.00 (ISBN 0-89940-119-8).
Information is also available online at The LBJ School of Public Affairs Website

Related links:

Getman to speak at international conference about the future of labor unions:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2003/041703_getman.html
Julius Getman: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/jgetman/
Ray Marshall: http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/directory/faculty/ray-marshall
Getman and Marshall in the Los Angeles Times: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2003/121203_labor.html