In a time of prolonged 8%+ unemployment it may be a fond distant memory, or for younger workers a mere tale of better times past but it is possible to have 2% unemployment. And 2% unemployment is arguably the best possible thing out there for workers. 2% unemployment requires no dues payments. 2% unemployment means employers are willing to train new entrants and retrain old ones. 2% unemployment means any time a worker takes offense, he can walk off the job and get a new one within a short amount of time. 2% unemployment means that if you want to work more hours you can and if you want to work fewer, your employer has no leverage to make you work more. 2% unemployment means that you don’t have to accept poor treatment, unsafe working conditions, or incompetent bosses because you can walk and not suffer for it.
Objectively, a 2% unemployment rate is the gold standard for improvement in labor conditions. So why do todays unions not make that a focus of their activism? And what would a labor movement that did focus on it look like?