I have participated in debates in the past here trying to explain why our current Unions are not suitable for knowledge workers. These debates have convinced me that making the required changes to both attract and address the needs of these workers are impossible to integrate into our labor union system without destroying that same system for labor.
I am using the term knowledge worker to describe a person whose job involves handling or using information to produce services.
Some examples of issues with traditional unions in the knowledge market are:
[li]Time based seniority basis for opportunity and advancement.[/li][li]Global salary rules and pay growth through seniority based advancement.[/li][li]Inflexibility in job descriptions and official advancement paths based on the previous two.[/li][/ul]
But as the portion of our economy is based on knowledge workers continues to grow the same issues that drove the labor market are effecting a larger and larger portion of individuals whom are in fields which are incompatible with those traditional unions.
The reason I placed this in GD and not in IMHO is because the main blocker for any movement would be the NLRB and traditional unions. Part of this opposition would be a very justifiable fear that incompatible needs would further the interests of anti-labor union needs but part would be due to a power struggle.
My question is what form could a parallel system be developed to meet the needs of this large population without destroying the other.
And in what way could this effort happen before the rise in automation and the decimation of the labor market due to coming technologies like autonomous vehicles happen.
Or is the risk so high for the remaining populations that depend on collective bargaining to keep food on their tables that the effort to protect workers while providing opportunity for education and careers in the knowledge field are not worth the potential damage.
The Era where America attracted the worlds brightest and thus the innovation is ending. Former labor based economies also move into the knowledge services worlds and new technologies and services are being developed globally at an ever increasing rate. While I do not personally believe in any intrinsic form of American exceptionalism we are falling behind in an area where we have traditionally had an advantage partly due to the issues surrounding a lack of collective bargaining for a large portion of what remains of the middle class.
Several issues like insane work hours, massive debt for out of date education and systemic issues within corporate culture are driving a significant portion of these issues which block both productivity and innovation and they could in part be addressed in a collective fashion.