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

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  •  Battle lines are drawn (0+ / 0-)

    The unions haven't died out. They were born out of necessity in a time when businesses openly ran sweat shops and abused workers severely. You could describe the downward trend to a so-called peace time between workers unions and business leaders. I am not saying that there is nothing critical being fought. But once the largest battles for fair wages, compensation, and a safe working environment were dealt with and made into laws then the necessity of a union became weaker.

    I am all in favor of unions. Don't get me wrong. Without them we have no leverage against businesses turning back the clock on workers. The recent attempts to dismantle union power by state governments like Wisconsin has many worried. But since union membership is low due to people taking worker's rights for granted. We don't see much of a fight against this.

    During this time of economic crisis, businesses are chipping away at our basic worker's rights so they can pay their shareholders. But manpower has already taken the lion's share of the pain since 2000. We have had to double our performance, settle for lower paying jobs, and paying more for benefits. Meanwhile, Wall Street has reaped the benefits of our hard work. But do the worker's get a share of it? No...

    We need to make that very apparent to people as they attempt to dismantle more unions. Wall Street is recovering nicely. But worker's are still losing ground financially and it's not going to improve without someone who is ready to fight.

    And that is where your union comes in... It's time to support them.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 05:15:15 AM PDT

    •  There was never (0+ / 0-)

      peace. There was however a level field for organizers and union activists, because labor laws were strong, and they were enforced. Granted, unions formed before such laws, but it had to be done by workers desperate enough to battle company goons on the picket lines.

      Men and women gave their lives to gain the rights we now take for granted.

      Now, after thirty years of chipping away at labor protection laws and laws affirming the right to organize, employers have succeeded in weakening the law, and making a joke (through lack of enforcement) of what remains. If you get fired for supporting a union, it'll take a couple years of hearings and appeals to settle the matter, and usually the worker gets little or nothing out of it.

      Union membership is low because workers fear--correctly--that they will get fired if they say the word "union" at work. A NLRB election can take months, during which the employer is free to intimidate, harass, and fire union supporters.

      The Menard's home improvement chain, for example, will not even hire anyone who ever belonged to a union, and they are not alone. Employers routinely threaten to close businesses if a union is formed--illegal, but again there's no enforcement.

      One of two thing must happen before we see union membership rise appreciably: either the law changes to make organizing easier (EFCA, anyone?) and to protect the jobs of activists, or workers must become desperate enough that they are willing once again to fight and die in the streets.

      Polling suggests that fifty percent of workers would join a union if they had the opportunity, but most are too afraid that they'll lose their jobs if they try.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:45:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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