Stop Whining and Start Organizing
Date Written: 29/06/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22670
A commentary on the state of the labour movment in the United States, which has been in a marked decline since the 1950's. Lindorff discusses why unions are vanishing, loss of membership, disassociation with the Democratic party, and the changes needed to reorganize and enforce workers' rights.
By undermining the ability of unions to collect that much revenue from members and non-members at workplaces, Justice Sam Alito, who wrote the Janus opinion for the Supreme Courts conservative majority, and the right-wing movement to attack unions whose attorneys supported this case, may have actually done the slowly vanishing US labor movement, such as it is, a favor with this swift kick in the head.
Unions, which back in 1954 represented 35% of all workers in the United States, today represent only 10.7 percent of workers. In the private sector, the number is a truly pathetic 6.5 percent (and it's still falling), while in the much smaller public sector, it is 34.4 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
No wonder things have been getting harder for unions and for workers in general, with legislatures ignoring or even attacking them with, for example, so-called "right-to-work" laws, anti-worker measures like more restrictive unemployment benefits, frozen minimum wages that have long ago stopped being adjusted to account for inflation, etc.