A new short piece for TomPaine.com about new kinds of unions--and the death of the old.
"your dream job? If the answer is "yes," you are probably in a union. That's the finding of a nationwide marketing survey of over 37,000 workers released on January 25. The respondents most likely to report that they were in their dream jobs were police and firefighters (35 percent) followed by teachers (32 percent.)
By coincidence, on that same date, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report showing yet another severe drop in U.S. union membership—from a steady 12.5 percent in 2004 and 2005 to 12 percent in 2006. The remaining stronghold of unionism, with a 41.9 percent membership rate, is local government workers. As the BLS points out, "This group includes several heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers and firefighters."
I got an good email response:
"The future of unions is in open source. The old-guard unions are dead, but the principles of organizing are still valid and fit in well with our democratic traditions."
The writer started microunions.com to help people form small, independent unions. I talk about the open-source union idea in Generation Debt and specifically about Washtech in the Pacific Northwest area.