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United We Fall?

Worker interest in unions may threaten your business. How will you respond?

This story appears in the March 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The 1990s are over. And with the collapse of the economicbubble, revelations about horrific corporate governance practices,and the layoffs of thousands of Americans, an institution that somepeople have long since written off as dead has been revived: theunion.

In a recent survey for the AFL-CIO, for the first time in nearlytwo decades, the number of nonunion American workers willing tojoin a union has increased. "After seeing so many jobsdestroyed in the recession, Americans are looking for jobprotection," says Jared Bernstein, senior economist at theEconomic Policy Institute, a Washington, DC, think tank. (Unionworkers earn 32 percent more than nonunion workers.)

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