Organized Labor in America Today

Published on SteveLendmanBlog, by Stephen Lendman, Sept 01, 2014.

Labor Day once had meaning. Workers had reason to celebrate hard won rights. No longer. More on this below. The day is commemorated on the first Monday of September. It’s been so since 1882. In June 1894, it became a federal holiday. It was when workers had few rights. Management controlled things. Labor was systematically exploited.

It took many years of organizing, taking to the streets, going on strike, boycotting management, battling police and National Guard forces, and paying with blood and lives to win rights. They included an eight-hour day, a living wage, employer-paid benefits, and passage of the 1935 landmark Wagner Act.

It established the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It guaranteed labor the right to bargain collectively on equal terms with management. It did so for the first time. Erosion followed. War on working Americans decimated organized labor. Hard won rights were lost … //

… In 1938, Franklin Roosevelt said:

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.” “That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power.” Today it’s worse than ever. Monied interests run things. Democracy in America is fantasy. Its criminal class is bipartisan.

Politicians are bought like toothpaste. Worker rights are systematically smashed. They’re heading toward disappearing altogether. Public sector unionization stands at 35%. Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of government jobs were lost. States and municipalities slashed services and payrolls. Last year, it largely affected public assistance programs, administrative and support services, public schools and state universities. Unions did little to fight back. They’re corporate occupied territory. Corrupted union bosses and politicians sold out to management for personal gain.

Bargaining collectively with bosses on equal terms no longer exists. Battle lines are drawn. Public and private sector worker rights are threatened unless mobilized resistance saves em.

According to economist Jack Rasmus, trade unionism in America today “is on the road to nowhere.” Decades of decline now accelerate … //

… (full long text).

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