Category: Unions



FROM the 1940s to the 1970s, organized labor helped build a middle-class democracy in the United States. The postwar period was as successful as it was because of unions, which helped enact progressive social legislation from the Civil Rights Act to Medicare. Since then, union representation of American workers has fallen, in tandem with the percentage of income going to the middle class. Broadly shared prosperity has been replaced by winner-take-all plutocracy.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/opinion/a-civil-right-to-unionize.html?scp=1&sq=a+civil+right+to+unionize&st=cse

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But there is something more sophisticated at work here than merely the efforts of talk-show hosts, demagogues and right-wing politicians to stir up or even just reflect, an angry, agitated and hostile populace. That is, there is a plan at work here – let’s call it, “the Plan” – and that plan is designed to accomplish the following goals:

Kill Public-Employee Unions; Erase the Middle Class.


Over the past few weeks, right-wing legislators have unleashed a torrent of radical legislation upon the American electorate designed to gut collective bargaining rights and attack the middle class. As these conservatives have launched their assault, a Main Street Movement consisting of ordinary Americans fed up with living in such an unequal country has fought back.

Conservatives have sought to malign this movement by claiming that it is simply defending the parochial interests of labor unions, who they claim are imposing huge costs on taxpayers with little benefit. Yet the truth is that America’s public and private unions have been one of the major forces in building a robust and vibrant middle class and have fought over the past century to improve the lives of all Americans in a variety of ways. ThinkProgress has assembled just five of the many things that Americans can thank the nation’s unions for giving us all:

ThinkProgress » REPORT: Five Things Unions Have Done For All Americans.


When it comes to improving public understanding of tax policy, nothing has been more troubling than the deeply flawed coverage of the Wisconsin state employees’ fight over collective bargaining.

Economic nonsense is being reported as fact in most of the news reports on the Wisconsin dispute, the product of a breakdown of skepticism among journalists multiplied by their lack of understanding of basic economic principles.

tax.com: Really Bad Reporting in Wisconsin: Who ‘Contributes’ to Public Workers’ Pensions?.


Let’s be clear what is going on. Only three of the top 10 spenders in the most recent elections were unions. Among the others were organizations representing business interests, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and individual corporations themselves. Both corporations and unions were unleashed by the Citizens United decision.

If unions can be broken in the public sector, this will further tilt the political playing field on behalf of corporate interests and their Republican allies. This will also silence one of the few remaining vehicles that advocate on behalf of ordinary people in this country.

No unions: Government by the rich, for the rich – CNN.com.

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