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Upcoming EEA YouTube Show: The Role of Unions in Stakeholder Capitalism

EEA YoutubeBased on the premise that Stakeholder Capitalism enhances returns for investors by creating value for employees, customers, supply chain and distribution partners, and communities, what is the role of unions in a business world in which labor is valued as an asset rather than as a cost to be minimized? These questions and more will be covered in an Enterprise Engagement Alliance YouTube Show, Tue., June 6 at 1 pm ET.
This upcoming Enterprise Engagement Alliance YouTube show, “Unions in the Emerging Era of Stakeholder Capitalism,” addresses the potential role of unions in organizations led by management who view employees as a source of wealth rather than as a sunk cost. Guests are Thomas Kochen, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management at MIT and Larry Beeferman, Independent Consultant and Fellow, at Harvard Law School Center for Labor and a Just Economy.
Register here for the live show on Tue., June 6 at 1 pm if you’d like to participate in the discussion or ask questions. Otherwise, the recorded show will be published on the EEA YouTube channel and summarized in an ESM article.
With the first union founded in the US toward the end of the 18th century, unionization gained traction during the 19th-century industrial revolution to protect the rights of workers frequently exploited by the new industrialists who viewed labor and their safety as costs to be minimalized in the pursuit of profits. Unionization rates reached their peak in the 1950s at nearly one third of all workers and has since fallen to about 10% today.
As unions today attempt to organize workers at organizations such as Amazon and Starbucks that offer better than average pay and benefits, are we seeing a repeat of the traditional adversarial and distrustful role between unions and management? Or do there exist models in which unions play a constructive role working with management to help engage the work force, manage worker voice, administer benefits, manage training and apprenticeship programs, and provide other human resources roles that can potentially reduce fixed costs and enhance value for employees and companies alike? The session will also discuss labor-management partnerships. In other words, is there a model in which unions create value not only for employees but for organizations?
The session will also address the current and potential relationship between stakeholder capitalist-oriented employers and unions. Should employers be ready to change and work with and not against unions? Could this include experiments with new models of  management collaboration with unions on workforce development?
This live session with two experts in and long-time observers of labor relations will weigh in on whether there is a constructive role for unions and management to play together in a new era of management that respects the value created by employees. The recording will be available shortly after on the EEA YouTube channel, the Stakeholder Capitalism podcast, and will be summarized in an article in ESM.
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