The South Lawn
Back in September, the International Association of Machinists and United Steelworkers ended their labor-management partnership with Harley-Davidson over the company’s plan to build a plant in Thailand. The partnership agreement, two decades old and praised as a model by some, is the latest iteration of the ‘jointness’ trend first pioneered by UAW and General Motors in the 1980s.
For global companies that have shifted production to Southeast Asia's low-cost manufacturing hub, greater cross-boarder labor coordination could mean less room for wage bargaining, a squeeze on profits and maybe even higher price tags on anything from shoes and clothing to cars and electronics appliances. But even as wages rise, labor activists are confident they aren't at risk of pricing themselves out of the market.
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