Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unions Who Needs Them - Well You Do - Whether You Believe In Them Or Not

The labor movement, even with all it's warts, was once the predominate, and sometimes only successful, political and middle class force to pushed back against unbridled corporate and business power.

Michael Moore had a good post this week at Nation of Change entitled "30 Years Ago Today: The Day the Middle Class Died" . It traces back to the day the begining of a systematic plan by business to destroy the labor movement. That day was thirty years ago in 1981 when Ronald Reagan summarily fired striking Air Traffic Controllers.

That incident sent a signal to corporate America at that time that unions were fair game and the government would look the other way if business wanted to break unions. Reagan set the tone and moved to weaken the National Labor Relations Board and laws that protected union organizing and bargaining rights. Today this unrelenting attack on organized labor continues. Business will not be satisfied until this last major impediment protecting the middle class and their wages, hours, health care benefits and working conditions is removed so they can finally exercise unbridled control over their now obedient, underpaid workers.

The decline of the the labor movement and the middle class coincidently travel a similar path, as the graph below points out. Many non union workers actually benefit from collective bargaining by workers who belong to unions. Union workers often set a standard that employers have to meet in order to keep the union out.  

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