Negotiating the Future: A Labor Perspective on American Business

Barry Bluestone, Author, Irving BlueStone, With
Barry Bluestone, Author, Irving BlueStone, With Basic Books $25 (352p) ISBN 978-0-465-04917-2
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-465-04918-9
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The father (Irving) and son (Barry) authors here provide a powerful prescription for healing the U.S. economy: abandon the traditionally antagonistic labor-management contract, adopt a cooperative compact providing for mutual goals and allow employee participation to reach the top levels of decision-making. The Bluestones--the elder is a labor studies professor at Wayne State University and a former vice-president of the United Auto Workers Union; his son is a political economy professor at the University of Massachusetts--present a comprehensive examination of the post-War economy and a history of labor relations. They argue persuasively that allowing productivity, quality and innovation to remain the domain of management is the root of current problems and that labor-management relations--not tax cuts or deregulation-- is the key to an American economic renaissance. The Bluestones acknowledge that few of their proposals are new, yet that these ideas constitute heresy to many U.S. businesses and unions. The authors give ample evidence that such arrangements when augmented can work in both the manufacturing and service sectors, and that these sectors are likely to fare better with a strong union in place. (Nov. )
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