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UT Austin > LBJ School > News

July 8, 2004

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New book examines the future of
labor unions

"The Future of Labor Unions: Organized Labor in the 21st Century” is the title of a new book edited by former U.S. Labor Secretary Ray Marshall and UT Law Professor Julius Getman and published by the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Written by leading union, management, and academic experts, the book’s essays offer diverse views on the role of unions in contemporary society. Considering the downward trend of unionization in the United States over the past 40 years, the writers propose ways that labor policy could more effectively meet the needs of workers, companies and the public in an increasingly competitive globalized information economy. Areas of focus include the impact of the war on terrorism on labor policy and law, and the strengths and weaknesses of 21st century labor unions in the U.S., Europe and the developing world.

Among the book’s contributors are Manfred Weiss, president of the International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA); Richard B. Freeman, cochair of the Harvard University Trade Union Program and director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research; and U.C. Berkley Professor Maria Lorena Cook, author of Organizing Dissent: Unions, the State, and the Democratic Teachers' Movement in Mexico and coeditor of Regional Integration and Industrial Relations in North America.

The book stems from a conference organized by Marshall and Getman in April 2003 in Washington, D.C. Marshall, who served as Labor Secretary in the Carter administration, is Professor Emeritus and Audre and Bernard Rapoport Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin. He is chair of the board of the National Center on Education and the Economy and president of the International Labor Rights Fund. He has authored more than 30 books and monographs, including Thinking for a Living: Education and the Wealth of Nations, and Back to Shared Prosperity. Julius Getman, who holds the Earl E. Sheffield Regents Chair in Law at UT Austin, is author of The Betrayal of Local 14: Paperworkers, Politics and Permanent Replacements and In the Company of Scholars: The Struggle for the Soul of Higher Education.

For order information and book availability, call 512/471-4218, e-mail:, or write to: Office of Communications, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, Box Y, Austin, TX 78713-8925. Information is also available online at

Related Links
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources

Nation of Hypocrites on Labor Rights:
The U.S. has no reason to be proud of how it treats its workers, who often are denied gains they won long ago

Op-ed by Julius Getman and Ray Marshall
The Los Angeles Times, December 12, 2003

© Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
P.O. Box Y
Austin, TX 78713-8925

8 July 2004

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