Labor’s Power in American Society

by Irving Bernstein



This article focuses on labor power in the U.S. as of March 1962. In recent years there has been increasing concern over the growth of big business, big government, big labor, and its implications for excessive concentrations of power in the American society. Since the McClellan Committee hearings, organized labor in particular has been branded as a serious threat. assess the market power of the trade union, its economic power; second, do the same for its political power; and third, because of current special interest, devote some attention to the position of the Teamsters Union. The author says that anyone concerned with excessive concentrations of power in our society should not look for them, in the labor movement. It seems to him that in a pluralistic democratic society interest groups should be effectively organized to speak for their constituents, and labor is not as effectively organized or as strong as he think it should be. If the present trend continues, it certainly will not become more powerful in the foreseeable future, if there is a real power in America, then in author's views, one will have to look for it elsewhere than in the labor movement.

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