Workers today are increasingly powerless. A decades-long attack on unionization has eroded workers’ agency over their own economic lives. At the same time, employers have expanded their influence in the labor market, gaining the discretion to set wages and working conditions on their own terms without fear that workers could check their power by finding another job.
And despite a seemingly robust and healthy economy—as indicated by headline measures like rising GDP growth and low unemployment—workers across America are struggling. While the wealthy few hoard the economic gains of a high-profit economy, wages are stagnant, workplaces are more fissured, and workers have less bargaining power.
We cannot have an inclusive and equitable society until we reclaim worker voice.