As I've noted before, unions get little attention in the micro principles textbooks. In the Canadian edition of Mankiw on my bookshelf, unions appear in one paragraph as a cause of unemployment. That's it.
In contrast, Dean Baker has a nice column in The Guardian pointing out that the union membership of the maid in Dominique Strauss-Kahn's New York hotel might have been of critical importance in preventing her from becoming unemployed -- by giving her enough protection against arbitrary firing to make a complaint.
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