Labor Notes # 498

woman outdoors holds sign: "You try 10% wage cut Carmel!"

Employers look at COVID-19 and see an opportunity to demand concessions.

Can concessions save jobs? Almost always they cannot, and certainly not in the big picture. Concessions can’t fix a collapsed market nor the 1%’s relentless assault on workers.

The best rationalization for concessions is a retreat to fight another day. Concessions may save jobs at a particular company in the short term if the union gets specific, concrete guarantees—but not without big risks. The competition will cut wages, too, and make that the new normal.

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