imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
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 - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

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

Segregation in the City of Angels: A 1939 Map of Housing Inequality in L.A. A15 7:44PM

Justice Dept. seeking info, IDs on 1.3M visitors to protest website DisruptJ20.org A15 1:04PM

San Francisco Rally Protests Hate Crimes in Charlottesville A14 5:38PM

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites A02 1:52PM

Tracking Twenty Years of Stockton Killings by Law Enforcement A02 1:27PM

Garcetti Cronyism - Why and How to Ignore Your LA Dog License A01 5:05PM

Nation's Worst Meltdown Was In LA J31 4:54PM

As RV towing resumes in LA, officials say program won't 'target homeless' J31 1:15PM

Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack J21 10:18AM

Limits to Growth Published Forty Years Ago J18 5:15AM

KPFK's Indy Media on Air Now on Wednesdays J25 9:13AM

Lessons From Portland’s Clashes With Fascists J13 7:36PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Three reading samples on George Orwell's "1984" N17 3:55AM

Syllogomanie N17 12:28AM

The Shortwave Report 11/17/17 Listen Globally! N16 5:05PM

Paraphysique de la collaboration N15 10:11PM

October 2017 Honduras Coup Update N15 9:23PM

National US Gov as wellas EPA slow to act on Abandoned uranium Mines Cleanup in Southwest N15 10:50AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Comedy Fundraiser N14 10:47AM

Republicans against the Poor and the Sick N14 4:16AM

Paraphysique du conformisme N13 11:25PM

Global Warming / Climate Change has Become a New Religion - What's it all About? N13 11:20AM

Crétinisme et jobarderie psychophysiologiques N13 8:21AM

Crétinisme et jobarderie psychophysiologiques N12 10:08PM

"The Public Trust Doctrine," Wealth Inequality, and Iraq N11 12:08PM

Anthologie de la subversion carabinée N11 1:20AM

US Executions Violate The 14th, 8th, and 1st Amendments To The Constitution N10 10:51PM

BUSTED: Watch LAPD cops plant drugs in black suspect’s wallet – unaware body cams were on N10 5:32PM

FBI suppressed exculpatory evidence in Leonard Peltier's trial N09 5:16PM

The Shortwave Report 11/10/17 Listen Globally! N09 4:19PM

Slavery as a Human Right N09 8:46AM

Fbi are human monsters who must be put out of business N09 5:51AM

Entropie ou l'anarchie inversée N08 11:11PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” with Voice Artist Rob Paulsen, Fri., Dec. 8 at The Tower Theatre N08 12:36PM

Free Updates on Hurricane Help and Recovery Efforts 1 800 665 2843 N08 11:08AM

Benjamin Tucker American Mutualist: Mutual Banking Part 3 and Final Conclusion Part 4 N08 10:06AM

lapd shootings 1998 - 2015 N06 11:21PM

Historical ND Compromise Proposal Unveiled N06 12:08PM

US and China: International Policy as a Zero-Sum Game N06 6:59AM

Putanisme patriarcal, putanisme social N05 10:33PM

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