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View Diary: The Hidden Cost of Union Busting... (89 comments)

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  •  True, but only part of the story (1+ / 0-)
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    Angie in WA State

    Many things have decimated unions in this country.
    1. The Taft-Hartley law, with its state option open shop laws.
    2. The purging of the left from American unions during the Red Scare era.  Many of the folks who did the hard and often dangerous work of organizing did it out of deep commitment because they were in fact socialist or communist.  When they were purged out, a lot of the folks who were left behind were people who thought a job working for a union should be a cushy sinecure.  So we see unions with organizing departments and organizing budgets that haven't organized a worker in years.
    3. The failure of the unions as a whole to take a stand when Reagan fired the Air traffic controllers.  PATCO had gone against the union grain and supported Reagan in the election, so when he turned on them, a lot of other unions figured they were only getting what they deserved.  If all the transport unions had stood together and shut down air travel over that firing, the landscape would be very different today.
    4. Partnership unionism, in which union leaders agree to merge their interests with the interests of the boss, even when it means going against the public good.  It has never paid off in the long run, and when union workers are in life or death fights, they can't find allies because of the people they screwed to stand with the boss.  Examples would be things like the UAW fighting auto safety laws and fuel economy standards because the boss asks them to.  Or a certain large health care union fighting against tougher regulation of nursing homes in exchange for organizing rights.  Any time that a union thinks it should side with the boss and against the public interest, it needs to think again.
    So, yes, globalization in all its forms plays a part, but it's not the whole story.
    I am, by the way, a member of the fastest growing union in America: CNA/NNOC

    "I was asked what I thought of the mainstream media. I said I thought it would be a good idea" - Amy Goodman.

    by Chico David RN on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 12:12:53 PM PST

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