imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Waging War on US Workers

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 at 11:42 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

labor

Waging War on US Workers

by Stephen Lendman

America's war on workers dates from the 19th century. Labor learned the hard way what it takes to win.

It requires organizing, pressing demands, taking to the streets, going on strike, holding boycotts, battling police and National Guard forces supporting management, as wells paying with blood and lives to get results.

They came. Workers got an eight hour day, a living wage, important benefits, pensions, and passage of the landmark 1935 Wagner Act. For the first time, labor could bargain collectively with management on equal terms.

Grassroots struggles prevailed. Management and government give nothing unless forced to. Today, virtually everything gained was lost. Federal, state and local Republicans and Democrats wage war on worker rights.

Obama did straightaway in office. Serving business ahead of workers became policy. In March 2009, he told auto executives, "We cannot, must not, and will not let this industry vanish."

His message was clear. Business got bailed out. Labor got sold out. Rank and file members were forced to make painful concessions.

They include permanent job losses, temp or part-time employment in place of full-time work, lower wages, fewer benefits, gutted work rules, forfeited security through pensions and retirement benefits, as well as other sacrifices.

Obama showed Democrats can trash worker rights like Republicans. He wants them treated with 19th century harshness.

Organized labor is a shadow of its former self. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivered the latest blow. On December 11, he signed right-to-work legislation. It takes effect in April. More on Michigan below.

Twenty-three other states have similar laws.The 1947 Taft-Hartley Labor-Management Relations Act precipitated labor's decline. It's one-sidedly pro-corporate.

Harry Truman called it a "slave labor bill." He hypocritically used it 10 times. No president since matched him. It destroyed hard won Wagner Act benefits.

Union violators face stiff penalties. Corporate bosses at most get hand slaps. "Unfair (union) labor practices" were enacted.

They include jurisdictional strikes (relating to job assignments), secondary boycotts (against firms doing business with companies struck), wildcat strikes, sit-downs, slow-downs, mass-picketing against scabs, closed shops (mandating union membership), and more.

At the same time, Taft-Hartley legalized employer interventions aimed at preventing union organizing. Doing so seriously eroded union bargaining power. Workers were headed on a slippery slope toward losing all rights.

Presidents are empowered to halt strikes by court-ordered injunction for 80 days. They can claim national security or whatever reasons they invent.

Under Section 14(b), states may enact laws exempting workers from union membership as a condition of employment.

Right-to-work laws prohibit unions and workers from entering into agreements requiring they join. They also forbid mandating dues and fees be paid to stay employed.

Although union shops are allowed, states can proscribe them. Non-union members in companies having them get the same benefits as  organized workers. Unions call them "free riders."

Right-to-work advocates argue that union membership shouldn't be a condition of employment. Organized labor believes that right-to-work laws let "free riders" benefit at the expense of union members.

Unions also say these laws weaken organized labor en route to destroying it altogether. They attack collective bargaining and worker rights. They earn on average $1,500 less pay and fewer benefits.

Mostly southern and western states have these laws.

Northern ones include Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and now Michigan. Once it was one of the most unionized states in America. No longer.

Less than 20% of its public and private workers are organized. Right-to-work legislation assures many more will lose out.

Indiana, under Republican Governor Mitch Daniels, became the first midwest state to adopt right-to-work. It was the first state to do so since Oklahoma in 2001.

Union bosses bear much responsibility. They resist weakly, then yield. They accept false notions that lower wages and fewer benefits make companies and states more competitive. They betray their rank and file in the process.

A race to the bottom heads workers toward near wage slave status. In November 2003, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) offered hope. It went nowhere during Bush's tenure. Obama was no friendlier.

In July 2009, he and Senate Democrats agreed to eliminate EFCA's "card check" provision from pending legislation.

It would have required employers to recognize the right to organize once most workers signed union cards freely and openly. Hope for passage died. So did worker rights.

Union bosses side more with management than rank and file. So do government officials. The UAW reflects organized labor's decline. At about 380,000, its membership barely exceeds one-third its total eight years ago.

In the 1950s, about 35% of workers were organized. In 1979, it was around 24%. At the end of the Reagan era, it was 16.8%. In 2007, it was 12%. In 2011, it was 11.8% and declining.

Public union membership is about 37%. Less than 7% of private workers are organized. It's the lowest percentage in over 100 years. Unionized worker membership is the lowest since Depression era organizing struggles.

Democrats, Republicans and union bosses conspire to let workers live or die by market-based rules rigged against them.

Michigan is the latest battleground. Right-to-work was enacted. United Auto Workers (UAW) bosses did nothing to block it. They betrayed their rank and file. They did numerous times before.

Other union heads operate the same way. They feign worker support while conspiring against them behind their backs. They're well compensated for selling out.

They're not about to sacrifice their own welfare for rank and file members they represent.

Workers have been ill-represented for decades. The 1981 PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) strike was seminal. It was a shot across organized labor's bow.

Over 11,000 workers lost jobs. AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland conspired with Ronald Reagan in union-busting. During the 1980s alone, coal miner, steel worker, bus driver, airline worker, copper miner, auto worker, and meatpacker strikes were defeated.

Union bosses sold out worker interests. They virtually abandoned their most effective weapon. They rarely strike. They block collective struggle.

They tell rank and file members one thing, then spurn them privately. UAW president Bob King conspired with Michigan Governor Snyder the way he and other union bosses do with management.

Dues workers pay goes to anti-worker Democrats. It also affords union bosses substantial six-figure salaries, generous benefits, and affluent lifestyles.

In January, King spent thousands of dollars of union dues traveling to Davos, Switzerland. He participated in the 2012 World Economic Forum.

Global high-level business, political, media, academic, think tank, and union bosses met. Each year, they flaunt predatory capitalism and party. They plot year ahead strategies.

They advance their own interests at the expense or workers and others losing out. They do it annually. Showing up makes union bosses complicit in securing the divine right of capital.

No wonder unionism today is a shadow of its former self. It's headed for extinction without committed worker activism to save it.

Union bosses are their enemies, not allies. Rank and file members are on their own to fight back. They won’t regain lost rights any other way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Water in California - info proliferated now is dubious J28 5:04PM

Pacifica clearly endangered. Reposting info here: J28 2:34PM

Video: Occupy Love (2013), 1 hr 19 min J28 4:43AM

Who declares themselves to be the ultimate-only-valid-authority here on current wars elsew J27 11:11AM

MDRC's Rent Reform Assault: Section 8 tenants vs. affordable housing industry J24 12:24AM

Obama at LA Trade Tech J23 3:23PM

Los Angeles Joins World Wide Protest Against Israeli Aggression J22 6:33PM

Los Angeles Joins World Wide Protest Against Israeli Aggression J22 5:48PM

Los Angeles Joins World Wide Protest Against Israeli Aggression J22 5:28PM

Protest Israeli Shelling of Gaza J21 1:58AM

#SaveTheInternet Rally J20 11:24AM

PACIFICA is shify-ing more J18 8:55PM

Radical Women Study Group J16 4:43PM

KIDS REPLANT WILSHIRE FRUIT TREES UPROOTED BY VANDALS J16 2:34PM

Emails Needed by Thursday, July 17 to Save the South Central Farm (Again) J15 4:40PM

Is AFT Pres Weingarten On The Take? J12 7:45AM

LA Living in Vehicle Law Found UnConstitutional J11 12:22PM

KPFK News covers the Che Cafe struggle J10 9:33PM

Public Comment on South Central Farm Site J07 10:44PM

Successful Protest at new Burbank Hobby Lobby on 4th J06 5:17PM

Protesters Violently Arrested in Murietta J05 12:44AM

Gallery Opening Highlights Journalist’s Creativity, Insights, and Passions J03 11:52AM

Indymedia On Air - Che Cafe show J02 10:27AM

Save the Che: Letter from Zack de la Rocha J29 8:47PM

Political Thriller Citizen Koch Premieres in Los Angeles J28 2:35AM

Veteran and Families of Military hold Press Conference J18 7:36AM

Furious Homeowners Occupy Lobby of Fannie Mae in Pasadena J16 4:15AM

Change Links Revival J12 12:09PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de la violence J28 9:49AM

Philippine President told: Re-energize the campaign for reforms J28 3:23AM

Panthers in the Hole: French Angola 3 Book Illustrates US Prison Crisis J27 12:13PM

¡Abajo las nuevas exacciones criminales de Israel! J27 11:41AM

looks ok to me... J27 10:32AM

Down with the latest criminal abuses by the Israeli State! J27 10:21AM

THE BOOK OF JOSHUA | ZIONAZIS J26 9:52PM

Video: Left Forum on Thomas Paine 1 hr, 23 min J26 4:21PM

Surpopulation et paupérisation J26 9:13AM

AVAAZ_GAZA_war crimes J26 8:07AM

Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO) Struggles for Peace J26 8:02AM

Snake Valley Festival in Baker NV fights SNWA ‘Water Grab’ J26 6:59AM

Nuclear Bomb LA 1983, Revelations tortured Witness Recovers from 14 year coma J25 7:52PM

The Shortwave Report 07/25/14 Listen Globally! J24 5:00PM

Come for the education, Stay for the fun at the OC Health & Wellness Fair J23 10:59PM

Philippine president signs law requiring tobacco companies to put graphic health warnings J23 3:55AM

Rockets found in Gaza school J22 10:57PM

Statement on the Gaza Genocide J22 8:32PM

Capitalism and War: Pope Francis J22 4:18AM

Geekouts Link's for June and July 2014 J22 1:14AM

ADI holds Week of Action Against Circus Suffering J21 11:41AM

phantom protests J21 7:35AM

Précis de la tyrannie ou les 64 bourgeoisies J21 3:32AM

The Abiding Economics of John Kenneth Galbraith J19 3:19PM

The Word J18 1:12PM

Burn Cut Poison: Toxic Trillion Dollar Cancer Industrial Complex Of Radiation, Surgery, Ch J18 10:17AM

Abrégé de déictique J18 2:04AM

The Shortwave Report 07/18/14 Listen Globally! J17 2:54PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy