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Forum Post: Saving Our Unions

Posted 2 months ago on Feb. 4, 2014, 12:13 p.m. EST by shooz (26756)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"Any review of the recent ups and downs of U.S. labor must start in Michigan, long a bastion of blue-collar unionism rooted in car manufacturing. Fifteen months ago, this Midwestern industrial state became another notch in the belt of the National Right to Work Committee, joining the not-very-desirable company of Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, and twenty other “open shop” states.

The emergence of sun-belt labor relations in the birthplace of the United Auto Workers (UAW) was shocking to some. But this political setback was preceded by high-profile defeats in neighboring states that began in 2005. First Indiana, followed by Wisconsin and Ohio, stripped public workers of their bargaining rights (although the Republican attack on government employees was later repelled by popular referendum in the Buckeye State). Then in early 2012, GOP legislators in Indiana passed a right-to-work law applicable to private industry. It banned any further negotiation of labor-management agreements that compelled workers to make a financial contribution to the cost of union representation, in established bargaining units or newly organized ones.1

In November 2012, organized labor tried to buck the emerging anti-union trend with two ballot questions designed to strengthen public-sector bargaining rights in Michigan. Despite the expenditure of many millions of dollars by affiliates of the AFL-CIO and Change To Win, both measures were defeated.2 In its lame-duck session just a few weeks later, GOP legislators in Lansing took retaliatory aim at union security in Michigan’s private sector. When the region’s latest “right to work” bill landed on his desk, Republican Governor Rick Snyder was most pleased to sign it into law.

During the intervening political furor, even labor’s “friend” in the White House, felt compelled to speak out. “We should do everything we can to keep creating good middle-class jobs that help folks rebuild security for their families,” Barack Obama told a union crowd in Detroit, after his own reelection victory. “What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. The so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws—they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.”3"

http://monthlyreview.org/2014/02/01/saving-unions

12 Comments

12 Comments


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[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20547) from South Burlington, VT 2 months ago

They cannot take away our bargaining rights, they only think they can. They just need to read the Constitution where it is written:

  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

We just need to be as organized and as committed as the NRA . . .

[-] 1 points by shooz (26756) 2 months ago
[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20547) from South Burlington, VT 2 months ago

The position of VW is interesting. Must still be attempting to assuage their own guilt over their association with the . . . principle . . .

[-] 1 points by shooz (26756) 2 months ago

Since it's become their fantasy, we should reserve that place for the CEOs that have put the World in the position it's in.

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[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 months ago

they need me to be willing work for them

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[-] 1 points by shooz (26756) 2 months ago

Staples, meanwhile, ( remember them?) launches yet another attack on the USPS.

http://www.labornotes.org/2014/01/staples-plucks-postal-jobs

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 months ago

I got a huge amount of oversized slick card political ads

telling everyone not to vote for Alverez in san diego special mayor ellection tuesday

all this advertisment for republican "oppositions" gives me the idea that they favor him

[-] 1 points by shooz (26756) 2 months ago

You know they're anti-union.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 months ago

unions are rare these days

never been in a unoin