What Workers Want

Richard B. Freeman
Joel Rogers

The abstract, table of contents, and first twenty-five pages are published with permission from the Cornell University Press. For ordering information, please visit the Cornell University Press.


[Excerpt] This books’ goal is to move the discussion of the laws and rules that govern workplaces and the national debate on ways to improve that governance, so that it addresses what workers want, not what insiders want. The book arose from the fact that one of us (Richard Freeman) served on the Commission on the Future of Worker Management Relations, a national body that the first Clinton administration appointed to consider some changes in labor law. Early on, the commission’s hearings and discussion focused largely on what the insiders thought should be done in the area and seemed oblivious to what American workers might want. To bring the voice of the worker into the debate, we deiced to undertake as objective and scientific a survey as we could of worker views toward how workplaces operated and how their workplaces might be improved. This book reports the findings of the Worker Representation and Participation Survey (WRPS).