In certain states, most notably Wisconsin and Ohio, attempts have been made to eliminate public sector collective bargaining. Although the all-out attack on public sector unions is relatively new, it is best seen in the context of long-term trends. These include the long-standing assault on private sector unions; the ongoing conservative political critique of the public sector; and neoliberal policies that contract government services, deregulate virtually all economic activities, and privatize many government programs, as well as decreasing workers' wages and benefits (allegedly to make them more globally competitive). The racial and gender dimensions of these trends are worthy of note and at times central to the narrative. We discuss these issues in detail, within the broader context of the role of unions in modern society and the history of labor organization in both the private and public sectors in the United States.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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