Report makes case against unions

Going over figures

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Also in Washington, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce goes forward today with a campaign about unions. It wants to accentuate that things are worse in union states. Marketplace's Dan Grech has that story.


Dan Grech: The U.S. Chamber report is titled "Responding to Union Rhetoric." Chief author Randel Johnson says the report is being released ahead of an Obama administration that's likely to be sympathetic to unions.

Randel Johnson: Pre-emptive strike, that's probably too strong of a word, but it's our effort to make sure our side of the story gets out there.

The report attacks the widely accepted statistic that wages have not kept up with increased worker productivity. It adds up salary, benefits and retirement contributions and finds that total compensation has in fact kept pace.

Jonathan Tasini: It's phony. That's not the way that anybody in the non-Alice in Wonderland world would do it.

Jonathan Tasini is with Labor Research Association. He says economists for decades have tracked productivity with wages, not total compensation. The U.S. Chamber's response:

Johnson: Unions tend to drive up wages higher than productivity levels justify.

Johnson says the Detroit automakers are uncompetitive in part because of high union wages.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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