From the Webbs to the Web: The Contribution of the Internet to Reviving Union Fortunes

36 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2005 Last revised: 14 Jul 2009

See all articles by Richard B. Freeman

Richard B. Freeman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies; Harvard University; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Date Written: May 2005

Abstract

This paper shows that in the 2000s unions in the UK and US made innovative use of the Internet to deliver union services and move toward open source unions better suited for the modern world than traditional union structures. In contrast to analysts who see unions as being on an inexorable path of decline, I argue that these innovations are changing unions from institutions of the Webbs to institutions of the Web, which will improve their effectiveness and revive their role as the key worker organization in capitalism.

Suggested Citation

Freeman, Richard B., From the Webbs to the Web: The Contribution of the Internet to Reviving Union Fortunes (May 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11298. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=714070

Richard B. Freeman (Contact Author)

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