Why Unions in the United States will Die: American Labor Organizations in the Age of Trump



This essay analyzes the effects of Donald Trump’s election as President on organized labor in the United States and, more specifically, on the demographic of workers responsible for his electoral college victory. The argument is that culture rather than economics explains Trump’s success in capturing key industrial states. His support depended on white middle-aged male voters without college degrees, the same cohort that makes up the backbone of unions in the United States. The likelihood is that Trump’s policies will further immiserate the American working class rather than reinvigorate it. In three key areas, Trump’s presidency will result in lower union membership density and higher inequality of wealth. The cultural orientation of Trump’s supporters outweighed politics, policy, and competence in selecting a national leader.


Labor unions Collective bargaining Inequality Right to work National Labor Relations Board Supreme court 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest. This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author. There were no individual participants in this study and, thus, informed consent does not apply to this study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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