"Did the traditional union die of natural causes, or was it murdered? It may be up to historians to settle the debate. Meanwhile, pragmatism demands alternative models to protect the interests of workers. Increasingly, these are found in 'social movement unionism': an approach that is flexible and broad in its definition of workers' issues, often enlisting the cooperation of business and government, rather than being tied to a specific job or employer. Here are three diverse recent examples."
One of my closest friends works for the AFL-CIO and we always have pretty lengthy discussions about the changing face and shape of the American labor movement. Kamenetz's article touches on some key movers such as the SEIU and the Freelancers Union. She also spotlights an interesting new study by Fordham University Law Professor Jennifer Gordon. As union density continue to decline (from 12.5% in 2004 and 2005 to 12% in 2006), both legislative steps and social movement action is necessary for "renegotiating a real social safety net for all."