President Kennedy's 1962 Executive Order 10988 precipitated a trend in American public sector unionism that is only beginning to reach fruition. Because it facilitated union organizing of the federal work force, and had similar repercussions on the state and local levels, the decades since have led to a blurring of the distinction between private and public sector unionism, as structural changes in the labor market have resulted in membership decline for the former and growth for the latter. Since membership growth translates into increased wealth, the political significance of this historical phenomenon becomes obvious.
This changing power center in the labor movement is one that has been previously addressed by Dr. Leo Troy in this journal. His concern that public sector unionists must pursue the socialization of income in order for all union members to share equally in available resources, is one he fears could result not only in the social engineering of American society but of the "global village" as well.
In The Great Transformation: From Private to Public Unionism in Atlantic Community Nations, Dr. Troy argues that this change has begun to manifest itself on both sides of the North Atlantic. Dr. Troy uses his statistical expertise on the membership trends of unions to bolster his argument that public sector unionism is moving in the same upward direction on an international as well as national scale.