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  •  Those factions you mention (4+ / 0-)

    all want different things.

    Much of the problem lies with decisions unions made in the 1970's and 80's and maybe even before that to protect themselves and not the principles they can should believe in as unions.

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:14:18 PM PDT

    •  Globalization killed unions (0+ / 0-)

      Union power now is only at the Government workers level since that would be difficult to outsource.

      Most Unions depend on the well being of the company - and it's true that companies have the upper hand because they can move.

      To me, Government Unions are semi-hypocritical - not the union but the notion that as a progressive who believes Government has a purpose to do good things - why the need to protect workers from Government?  I get it but it still sits in my mind that it's something Republicans would be for to keep workers safe from big bad Government and Democrats would be saying there is no need for.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 03:21:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  au contraire--globalization opens the door for (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ctexrep, bygorry, Darwinian Detrius, FG, AoT

        real union power.

        A necessarily crucial part of any effective global movement to beat the supra-national corporations must be the international labor union. The ultimate source of all corporate profits (from which they derive all their power) is the workplace—and every workplace has workers whose interests necessarily conflict with those of corporate profits. Workplace safety, the right to organize, better pay and conditions—all of these things can only be effectively fought for from inside the workplace. And that is the role of the labor union. To beat the corporations, we must develop the ability to cut off the company's flow of money--everywhere on the planet, simultaneously, and keep it cut off for as long as we need to.  And only one group of people in the entire planet has that ability---the corporation's own employees.

        As we have already seen, the American labor movement threw its lot in with an alliance with the corporations, to defend corporate profits through protectionism and hostile opposition to “foreigners”. The result has been utter disaster.

        It is easy to see the root of the American labor movement’s mistake. The AFL-CIO is still wedded to its patriotic flag-waving for “American workers” at the expense of all the rest of the workers in the world, and has ignored a basic truth about the wage-based market economy—the owners are in business to make money for themselves, not for their workers. Boss will always go where it is cheapest. If workers in the United States are paid X for a job, and workers in Indonesia or China are paid one-tenth X, then Boss will move his factory there every time. Any wage gains we are able to make within the US will disappear promptly, as the corporations simply move those jobs to low-wage havens like China or Mexico. If we want to keep our jobs here, therefore, we are reduced to two choices—either we raise their wages to match ours, or we lower our wages to match theirs.

        The American unions tried a third way—they wanted to use protectionist measures to both keep our wages high and keep foreign wages low. It was an abject (and predictable) failure.

        The American labor movement forgot completely what the word “solidarity” means.  Or at least what the word “whipsawing” means.

        There is only one way to prevent whipsawing, and that is to organize the workers everywhere. The entire idea of a nation-based labor movement is now outmoded, ineffective and obsolete. In a corporate world, we must instead become company-based rather than geographically-based. In a world made up of multi-national companies who owe loyalty to no government and have no nation, there simply is no such thing anymore as an “American worker” or a “Chinese worker” or a “Somali worker”. There are only “Ford workers” or “Honda workers” or “British Petroleum workers”—and they all do the same work for the same employer and have the same interests, whether their factory happens to be located in Tennessee, Tibet or Timbuktu. And if a Ford worker in Detroit gets X dollars an hour to do a job, then a Ford worker in China or Thailand had better be getting the same X dollars an hour for doing the same job—because if he's not, then guess where the factory will be going?

        It’s an elementary lesson that the American unions ignored. Instead of organizing all Ford or US Steel workers across the world to face their common employer, the unions have ignored foreign employees completely or even treated them as enemies; instead of raising the foreign wages to match ours, the AFL-CIO preferred to work with its corporate “partners” to pass protectionist laws to keep them away. So the American labor movement bears a large part of the blame for its current situation. By fighting for “American workers” and allowing workers in other countries to be reduced to virtual slavery, the AFL-CIO guaranteed that every boss in the US would move his factories overseas to the cheap labor.

        What the labor movement must do instead is to follow the companies wherever they go, to any country, and organize all the workers there. One company, one union, one contract, one wage scale—no matter where you are. That cannot happen until American workers give up their attachment to outdated nationalism. The only way the corporate bosses can be beaten is if all their workers stick together, organize together, and fight together, no matter what country they happen to be located in. That is what “solidarity” means.

        It used to be that “workers of the world, unite!” was just an idealistic political slogan.  Today, it is our only survival strategy.

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          The problem is, just as corporations are stricken with greed - so are labor unions (OK - not to the same extent) - but you hit the nail on the head with "solidarity" - that word, for Unions to survive - must be globally - not domestically.

          The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

          by ctexrep on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 06:04:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see it in this generation (0+ / 0-)

          However, the outsources have to keep finding countries with enough infrastructure to be able to operate but low wages and weak labor laws. We have been through several rounds of this since Japan came out of the "cheap junk" period and had to outsource to Korea and Southeast Asia. Now Africa and Central Asia are becoming new targets, while Bangladesh and other traditional targets are starting to organize.

          The problem for corporations as they are today is that after Africa and Central Asia, there will be nobody left unexploited, and nobody left without rising wages and improved worker protections.

          I work on this issue every day, in the form of educational materials for children in dozens of countries. We need people to work on all the rest of the pieces of this puzzle, such as infrastructure, civil society, food, health care, human rights, the rule of law, and so on. I also collect dKos Diaries for the group More and Better Democracies, which would welcome others to write about what countries outside the US need.

          We need people who are willing to operate on a fifty-year horizon, because that is the minimum time every major social movement has taken. Although there are plenty of rewards along the way to complete success on this set of issues, and further issues to take up as we gain traction on these.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:44:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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