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‘First They Came for the Trade Unionists’¹: Unions, Reagan and the Lasting Impact of the PATCO Strike

in Current Issue/Views

by Erik Szabó

The role, purpose, and legitimacy of trade and labor unions have been the subject of seemingly never-ending debates and it is also undebatable that this status has undergone many changes throughout the history of organized labor.  The topic of present essay is the situation of trade and labor unions in the United States. The endeavor of current paper is twofold: its first undertaking is to examine the relationship between the unions and the Reagan administration, while its second intention is to draw and show potential parallels with the Reaganian notions and the present-day situation of organized labor. This will be accomplished by first exploring the historical significance of the unions, then scrutinizing the affiliation of the labor movement and the Reagan administration, while the last part of the paper will show possibilities about how the Reagan administration influenced the situation of present-day organized labor.

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