Though a tentative deal was reached between railroad executives and labor unions overnight, likely avoiding a strike, this story once again brought national attention to the growing power of unions in this country.
For reporters looking for an expert to comment on this latest development or more generally on the state of unions and labor organizing, the following researchers are available to provide commentary and analysis.
Rhomberg has published internationally on historical and contemporary issues in American labor relations, strikes, collective bargaining and labor law, workers in media and in low-wage industries, minimum wage reform campaigns, and the current economic and political juncture in the U.S. He is the author of The Broken Table: The Detroit Newspaper Strike and the State of American Labor which received the 2013 award for best book on labor and labor movements from the American Sociological Association.
Quote: "The railroads have cut thousands of jobs in recent years and have increased pressure on remaining employees, with tight scheduling practices, speedup of work, and strict attendance and leave policies. The proposed settlement includes a significant offer on wages, but the issues are about more than money; they are about what kind of jobs workers will have going forward."
Wilmers researches wage and earnings inequality, economic sociology, and the sociology of labor. In his work on labor unions, he has papers studying the wage effects of labor union activism, the wage and economic effects of strikes, and employer discrimination against unions.
Quote: "A tight labor market and reinvigorated worker activism has emboldened unions. Unions are more popular than they've been in decades. We’re going to see more activism both at unorganized companies and at long-unionized firms like the railroad carriers.”