The status of unions in Pennsylvania and the book Rethinking America

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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, August 30, 2018:

Labor unions in the United States are in a transition period. On the one hand, leaders point to battles won in West Virginia and Missouri as examples of labor union strength and relevance. The American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia and the West Virginia Education Association successfully negotiated a five percent pay raise for West Virginia Teachers and, recently, Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected the state’s right-to-work legislation. That legislation would have prevented unions from requiring workers in collective bargaining units to pay mandatory fees.

On the other hand, there are those who don’t support unions and cite the recent Supreme Court ruling against mandatory union fees by public sector unions as a blow to union strength. They also say a steady decline in union membership indicates American workers are not inclined to unionize.

As Americans prepare to celebrate Labor Day and the traditional end-of-summer holiday weekend, Smart Talk will discuss membership trends and union relevance with Richard W. Bloomingdale, president of the PA AFL-CIO.

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Richard W. Bloomingdale

Also, the book “Rethinking America: From Empire to Republic takes a closer look into events leading up to the Revolutionary War. It was written by author and professor Dr. Andrew Shankman and Yale University history professor Dr. John Murrin, Ph.D.

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The book “explains why a constitutional argument within the British Empire escalated to produce a revolutionary republic.” The authors look at the politics of Anglicization from the colonial period up to the start of the American Revolution.

Dr. Andrew Shankman is a history professor at Rutgers University-Camden and will join Smart Talk on Thursday to talk about the book collaboration and essays he authored with Dr. Murrin.