Racism -- It's Everywhere! Right now, there are untold thousands of aspiring illegal aliens from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and countless other hellholes in South and Central America marching thousands of miles through Mexico hoping to be greeted by warm hugs and free legal representation from liberals at our southern border. Whatever you call it, it has to not only be stopped, they have to be prevented from happing again in the future.
America without Unions Harold Meyerson on the decline of America's labor unions—and what the future of workers' rights looks like without them. A cold political logic spurred their attacks: Labor was the chief source of funding and volunteers for their Democratic opponents, and working-class whites, who still constitute a sizable share of the electorate in their states, were far more likely to vote Democratic if they belonged to a union.
The fiscal crisis of the states provided the pretext for Republicans to try to take out their foremost adversaries, public-employee unions.
In Ohio, Governor John Kasich signed a bill repealing collective-bargaining rights for all public employees, but voters overturned that law at the polls. In Wisconsin, which had been the first state to extend those rights to public-sector workers, Governor Scott Walker also repealed those rights, but more selectively than Kasich: He kept them for police and firefighters.
When outraged unionists and their allies mounted a recall campaign against him, Walker beat them back handily.
Losing jobs as technology transformed workplaces, losing both jobs and middle-class wages as globalization transformed the economy, and blocked by statute and employer opposition from expanding—unions, some concluded, were history. Within the labor movement, a number of leaders and activists quietly shared the same pessimism.
They had invested in organizing with little to show for it. Inthey had seen the entire edifice of deregulated capitalism totter and almost collapse, plunging the nation into its deepest and most intractable recession since the s.
Unions have no presence in the hottest and hippest sectors of the economy, in high-tech, fashion, and finance.
Today, there are millions more unionized teachers than unionized truckers. Of the six unions with more than a million members, two are headed by lesbians and one by an African American, a level of diversity in these troglodytic institutions not to be found on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley.
A number of unions, particularly the Service Employees International Union SEIUplay a central role in the political mobilization of Latinos, the group most likely to transform the American electorate.
It speaks for autoworkers and steelworkers, for the cutting-edge industries of Where are unions in the new economy? Can a union do anything for a temp? Will anyone under 30—will anyone over 30—even notice if unions cease to be? But everyone will notice the consequences.
Absent a substantial union movement, the American middle class will shrink. Absent a substantial union movement, the concentration of wealth will increase. Absent a substantial union movement, the corporate domination of government will grow.
Liberals were right to privilege the struggles of African Americans, women, and gays. But over the past 40 years, labor grew weak while corporations grew stronger than ever before—so strong that their control of government now threatens most of the liberal agenda.
Which is why we must turn again to the labor question, to the battle for economic power that is an inherent feature of capitalist democracy. When unions vanish, ordinary Americans lose their right to bargain collectively for their pay and benefits.
Even those who have never bargained collectively will feel the loss. Some years ago, when unions were big enough that their effect on the larger economy could be measured, Princeton economist Henry Farber concluded that the wages of nonunion workers in industries that were 25 percent unionized were 7.
When unionized companies were common, firms that were nonunion had to mimic the wages and benefits of their unionized counterparts for fear that their employees would leave or, worse, organize. That was certainly the practice at General Electric and other largely nonunion giants.
Nonetheless, union workers generally maintained a 20 percent wage advantage over nonunion workers. The key to the wage advantage is the percentage of union membership in a given industry or market. In cities where all the hotels are nonunion, such as Phoenix, housekeepers make little more than the minimum wage, if that.
From throughwhen union density in America was at its peak, real wages for nonmanagerial employees rose by 75 percent. From throughas union density collapsed, real wages for nonmanagerial employees rose by only 4 percent. Unable to get a raise, American households maintained their standard of living during those years by women entering the workforce and by going into debt.
The other is strikes.
In fact, more strikes occurred from the late s through the early s than before or since. When union contracts expired, workers and managers fought pitched battles over the terms of the next contract. The largest strike in American history came inamid the sleepy Eisenhower years, whensteelworkers stayed off the job for days.
By the late s and early s, unions were striking less to win raises than to resist management proposals to freeze wages and cut benefits.national labor office live fearless with secure and stable health coverage for america’s working families5 Recently, a year old woman with multiple sclerosis was referred by her health plan to Best Doctors for a second opinion.
I am running for a future with better-paying jobs, a stronger infrastructure that makes Long Island more competitive for employers, and a 21st-century economy where our young people want to remain in Suffolk County because there are good opportunities for them.
That blind system should end. If governments are corrupt, cut them off; if they won’t control the chaos within their own borders to the point that people flee en masse, cut them off. But labor’s anachronistic image persists, and for a reason: It stubbornly represents blue-collar workers long after they’ve gone out of style and their numbers have diminished.
It speaks for autoworkers and steelworkers, for the cutting-edge industries of Blue Labour: Forging a New Politics Edited by Ian Geary and Adrian Pabst I B Tauris, pp, £ Only those who do not realise where politics is going will dismiss Blue Labour as a work of nostalgia.
It is a book of – and about – the future. Governing the Workplace: The Future of Labor and Employment Law, Paul C. Weiler (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, ). Unions and Economic Competitiveness, edited by .