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Found a great article on the role of unions:

A tried and true way to fix inequality in America: unions


Quotes from article:

The percentage of private-sector workers who are in unions has dropped from 35% in the 1950s to just 6.4% today— from more than one in three to just one in 16. Numerous factors have fueled this decline, including factory closings, outsourcing and automation, but corporate America's decades-long effort to hobble unions is arguably the biggest factor.

The decline of unions has fueled income inequalityand wage stagnation, reduced economic mobilityand helped enable corporations and wealthy donors to dominate our nation's politics and policymaking. When unions were mighty and union jobs plentiful, unions pulled up wages for everyone, nonunion workers too.

Unions catapulted countless number of workers with just a high school degree into the middle class. In their book "Winner-Take-All Politics," Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson bemoan the decline of unions, writing, "While there are many 'progressive' groups in the American universe of organized interests, labor is the only major one focused on the broad economic concerns of those with modest incomes."

Unions have also played an important role in reducing inequality. The decades when organized labor was strongest — the 1940s through 1970s — were the decades when America had the least income inequality.