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View Diary: The UPS Workers Got Their Jobs Back (65 comments)

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  •  Thank you for taking the time to check this out (0+ / 0-)

    I understand what you mean by getting sidetracked.

    I also understand the definition of solidarity that you are employing but it is your definition. I've never read or heard of it being used in the narrow fashion that you describe. Since I'm a trade unionists, I think that says something.

    Within the Labor movement, appeals to solidarity have never been circumscribed by the limits of workplace or union membership. Traditionally such appeals have been made to the general public across such limits for two reasons. First, because at no time have an absolute majority of US workers been unionized. Second, because it has been understood that Labor represents not only the interests of its membership but the interests of non-unionized workers as well.

    To be clear, in this context a worker is anyone employed on a wage basis. Hourly wage earners comprise 59% of the work force.

    It is this collective interest that is the basis for the principle of solidarity as Labor practices it. It differs profoundly from your own definition and you may not accept it but nevertheless, that is what trade unionist mean by the term. There is even a very old slogan within the movement which expresses the principal: "An injury to one is an injury to all."

    So we have indeed been talking at cross purposes, since we each have very different things when referring to the principle of solidarity. I hope this clarifies matters even if it doesn't lead us to agreement.

    I would add that if confusion on this score has led to our exchange becoming overly adversarial I very much regret it.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 08:13:50 PM PDT

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    •  Err, that should read: "since we (0+ / 0-)

      each mean very different things" rather than "since we each have..."

      My bad.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 08:19:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well where I had an issue with 'solidarity'... (0+ / 0-)

      is if used in the way presented then if everyone eating at a McDonalds happened to have a job that is solidarity. Thats just seems silly to me, but if you in a trade union of never it used as I am, then I have to accept its a creation of my own perception.

      See though I own my own business, labor is a major issue even from a pure business sense (though it is from a moral sense too), but in reverse from large businesses. I am shop so though I have no employees at this stage i will never have more than a handful and having to pay a little more has little bearing on bottom line if I need the help. But, my customers who spend money are obviously strapped and spending less. So our economy is in the tank and people need more money and I'm in L.A. a city with a lot of money flowing compared to most places.

      So when you say hourly labor is 59% of the workforce thats probably a rough estimate of the percent of my customers. Small business and labor tied together more than most people realize and not in the way that if you raise wages we go out of business, but if you raise wages we get more business.

      Thats what I don't get about the large companies, they are trying to grind labor down to the point they won't have the money to buy the products and services the company sells. Its not sustainable.

      Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

      by fToRrEeEsSt on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 08:52:29 PM PDT

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      •  Well eating at McDonalds wouldn't be an act of (1+ / 0-)
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        solidarity, since the motivation isn't to support the workers but to feed oneself. However, if one refrained from eating there, say to show support for the protest by fast workers calling for a living wage, that would be.

        To give another example; there are two major grocery store chains in my city. One is unionized and the other is not. Consequently, I buy my groceries at the unionized store specifically because it is unionized. That is an act of solidarity on my part. Interestingly, the prices are also lower at the unionized chain so it's a win-win from my perspective.

        Your point about the interdependence of small businesses and the general economic health of working people is well taken. The disconnect between your awareness of this and the apparent ignorance of large corporations underlines a real division of interest between small business and big business.

        Small independent businesses are rooted in and are dependent on local communities. The same isn't true of large national and international corporations.

        Consider the example of Wallmart. Wallmart became notorious during the heyday of it's success for devastating local businesses in smaller communities. This had a negative economic impact on such communities but it didn't matter to Wallmart's bottom line because, in the meanwhile, it enabled their capture of the entire market that remained. It didn't matter to them if the over all economic pie in a community shrank as long as their share of that pie increased.

        Of course the viability of that business model is limited since, at some point, it falls prey to diminishing returns. Sooner or later the contraction of the local economy will stall the expansion/profitability of such a business but until that point is reached, there is no mechanism that would drive Wallmart to change its model. By that time, of course, the damage is done.

        So yes, there can be and, IMO, often is a common interest between small business and wage earners in opposition to the interests of Corporate big business.


        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 07:56:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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