Magazine August 12, 2019, Issue

The Next Union Era

People celebrate the passage of the minimum wage for fast-food workers during a rally in New York City in 2015. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
Cutting government mandates could help unions better serve workers

Dressed in crisp, deep indigo jeans, a suit jacket, and a dress shirt, David Rolf — former president of one of the most aggressive locals of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — looks more the part of a Silicon Valley CEO than that of a union boss. And while the 49-year-old has brought several hundred thousand people into organized labor, he has little optimism that the business model of the 20th-century union movement will survive. “While unions can be a transformative force in the lives of workers, too often labor leaders seem like they’re trying to find a time

This article appears as “Free Labor” in the August 12, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Eli Lehrer is president and co-founder of the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank. He lives in Herndon, Va., with his wife, Kari, and son, Andrew.

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