Alternative labour protection movements in the United States: Reshaping industrial relations?
The United States is one of the developed countries that have experienced the steepest declines of unionization and collective bargaining in recent decades. Its traditional industrial relations institutions, premised on the prevalence of “standard” employment relationships, have long been eroded by restrictive legislation and employer opposition. Meanwhile, precarious employment, sub-standard conditions and marginalization have become widespread features of the labour market, leading to the spontaneous emergence of alternative, often community- based initiatives to protect vulnerable workers using highly innovative strategies. “Worker centres”, in particular, have been very active to that end, often teaming up with formal trade unions to pursue their objectives.