ORIGINALLY RECORDED: December 5, 2022
ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: December 11, 2022
The US Congress just forced a labor agreement on rail workers, despite the fact that more than half of the rail union members didn’t want it. If they can do this, why join a union in the first place? Amazon and Starbucks workers are attempting to form Unions as well, but those companies are strongly opposed to unions, too. What are unions for, why should people join them, and given that history of the labor movement’s greatest victories–things like mandatory weekends and safety regulations–why don’t we all bend over backwards to strengthen collective bargaining? In this discussion, Why? host Jack Russell Weinstein asks his guest whether unions “corrupt” capitalism or if they are necessary components of a just society.
Mark Reiff was a lawyer before he received his Ph.D. He has since taught political, legal, and moral philosophy at the University of Manchester, the University of Durham, The Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, and the University of California at Davis. He was a Faculty Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. He is also the author of five books including: In the Name of Liberty: The Argument for Universal Unionization.