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View Diary: The Democratic Party, The Decline of Unions and Voter Apathy...Random Thoughts (94 comments)

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  •  The Repubs Turned Tribal, the Dems Turned Conserv- (8+ / 0-)

    ative after the 60's.

    The reason the Dems turned to expanding the final sprint to elections to be their sole around-the-cycle strategy was that it let them appeal to nobody other than their base of conservative moderates in only a few key parts of the country, telling labor and the left and the rest of the country that they had nowhere better to go, and letting the right shape opinion and inform the voters.

    We've had 2 conservative parties since Nixon, and so with nobody working to advance working and middle classes there's been no reward to tempt people away from racism and superstition whereas the right has given them every excuse to fear and hate and created a full-service community in fundamentalism that is much more beneficial to the eyes of the average person than reason and enlightenment.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:37:21 AM PDT

    •  As a Union member off and on since 1977 (11+ / 0-)

      My take is my current Union (Teamsters) is the weakest union I have ever been in, including (especially) when I was in the Teamsters in 1992. My thoughts on the reasons for this include.

      1) My union president (who wants me to buy a sticker saying he is my president) is pro-management not pro-worker. He is pro-union dues, of course, so he wants to increase membership but as for standing up to management, a few years back he told the membership we have to "submit to the global marketplace", a management slogan used to justify taking away pay and benefits. In the late 90s, if you recall, there was a UPS strike. The president did not want it but fairly shortly, UPS management made concessions to get a contract signed. Within a few years, all those concessions had been conceded back to management.

      2) Where I work, workers have no idea what Solidarity means. They are out for themselves and getting along with management is seen as most beneficial for themselves. I hear constant anti-union crap coming from my co-workers. "I am the only one here who works with any integrity, so screw those other people and screw the Union" "This guy who has seniority rights to be offered overtime is taking that overtime. Isn't that horrible?". It is, in fact, class warfare on the part of management to divide people by keeping them focused on other workers and not on management breaches of contract. Far too frequently, my Union steward acts as management's messenger to me rather than my representative to management. Far too frequently, solidarity means senior guys work together with management to take away from junior guys.

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