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Unions Will Help Lift the Middle Class Boat, MIT Professor Says

There is nothing to support wage gains if you don't have unions fighting for their deserved share of productivity gains”
— Thomas A. Kochan, professor, MIT's Sloan School of Management
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, USA, March 16, 2017 / -- PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 16, 2017/ unions are in a death spiral at a time when the workers of America need them more than ever, according to Thomas A. Kochan, professor of industrial relations, work and employment at MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Kochan appears in two episodes of "White House Chronicle," the weekly news and public affairs program, viewed on major PBS stations and the commercial AMG TV network, and heard on SiriusXM Radio's POTUS (Politics of the United States), Channel 124.

Kochan said on the program that if we are going to close the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the workers and the owners, unions are needed as much as ever.

Kochan, who also co-directs MIT's Institute for Work and Employment Research, said the National Labor Relations Board needs modernizing and the time-honored system of elections, to get a union certified as representing the workers in a corporation, is now essentially impossible.

He said there were more and more right-to-work states, and union growth is stymied: Management is too good at fighting organizing in all states -- and more so in those states.

With the exception of last year, wages have not grown in 35 years. "There is nothing to support wage gains if you don't have unions fighting for their deserved share of productivity gains," he said.

Kochan said his comments were based on extensive research by MIT graduate students on wage stagnation and attitudes to work and unionization.

King said of the Kochan interviews: "Tom is one of the most articulate, convincing and passionate guests we've ever hosted on the program. He is a tour de force.

"He speaks to and about the Trump voters, and foresees how they'll be let down unless there is a resurgence of pressure to get corporations to share gains in productivity, as was the case from 1945 until the 1980s.

"In 20 years on the air, these are two of the most important episodes of the program that we have made."

The first episode featuring Kochan airs this weekend and all next weekend. They will be available for viewing on the program's website,

Llewellyn King
White House Chronicle
(202) 441-2702
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