Monday, September 5, 2016

Union label

Broke? Working two jobs and can't made ends meet? Thank a republican.
According to the AFL-CIO, a union umbrella body, the average worker in a right-to-work state earns $5,971 less annually than workers elsewhere in America. Only 46.8% of private-sector employers in right-to-work states offer health insurance to their employees, compared with 52.6% in other states, says the AFL-CIO.
For most of my lifetime, the Republican party has been pushing anti-union legislation and for the most part, it has succeeded: 
In 2013 there were 14.5 million members in the U.S., compared with 17.7 million in 1983. In 2013, the percentage of workers belonging to a union in the United States (or total labor union "density") was 11.3%, compared to 20.1% in 1983.[1] From a global perspective, the density in 2010 was 11.4% in the U.S., 18.4% in Germany, 27.5% in Canada, and 70% in Finland.[2] Union membership in the private sector has fallen under 7%[3] — levels not seen since 1932.
Bottom line: if you want to know why wages are so low, hours are so erratic, and working life sucks for the vast majority of americans, consider the possibility that without the power of collective bargaining, individuals who have legitimate grounds to insist on better pay, benefits, hours, working conditions, etc. have no effective leverage.What's needed is a 21st century version of collective bargaining for workers, one that would allow ordinary people to push back against the enormous power of corporations which have taken over our legislatures and regulatory bodies.

This labor day, remember what labor unions accomplished, and then what republican anti-union legislation did to most of us, and enjoy this reminder from my grandmother's old union:

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