Wednesday, November 2, 2011
November lecture to focus on middle class, union workers in today's economy
The Oakland University School of Business Administration's Economics Advisory Board presents its Fall Lecture: The Middle Class and Union Workers in Today's Economy by Mark Gaffney, former president, Michigan State AFL-CIO, and current representative for Teamsters Local 214 Tuesday, Nov. 15, 5-6 p.m., in the Elliott Hall Auditorium on OU's campus.
The free lecture is open to the OU community and general public.
CNN Money reports that middle class incomes have been stagnant for at least a generation, while the wealthiest tier has surged ahead. The February 2011 report went on to state that according to IRS data, the income of an average American taxpayer was $33,400 adjusted for inflation in 1988, and 20 years later the average income was $33,000.
The article reports one reason average incomes have stagnated is due to declining union membership over the past 30 years. In 1983, union workers comprised 20 percent of the workforce, in 2010 less than 12 percent.
In his last Detroit News column as President of Michigan State AFL-CIO in Sept. 2011, Gaffney suggests that compromise is the key to getting Michigan back on track.
In his column, he writes that neither political side has the answer by themselves, but rather, "they must come together at a place in the middle for compromise. The necessary strategy will look a lot like the pragmatism of labor negotiations (seen) between the UAW and General Motors. These two large, powerful institutions realize and appreciate that their fate and fortune are tied together." His advice is for leaders to plan a strategy to achieve common goals to build a common ground to advance Michigan.
For more information, contact Anandi Sahu by email or by calling (248) 370-3537.