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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Bruce Western
Today's depressed wages can be attributed to a variety of economic trends - from globalization and sending jobs offshore to new technologies and immigrant labor - but economists and scholars also point to the dramatic decline in U.S. union membership in the past 60 years, which has left rank-and-file workers without a powerful public advocate.
"In terms of wages, belonging to a union is roughly equal to having a college degree," said sociologist Bruce Western of the Council on Foreign Relations. "Research shows that union membership in the private sector increases a workers' compensation by 10 percent to 20 percent."