Essay On Trade Union Decline

I learn about the ITUC ranking from Larry Cohen, a former president of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) who helped coordinate Labor for Bernie and now chairs the board of Our Revolution, a group that hopes to build on the momentum of the Sanders campaign.He’s been part of the union for thirty-nine years and worked to strengthen its partnership with unions in Germany and elsewhere.Lawyers for Mark Janus, a child-support specialist with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, argued that collective bargaining with the government is a form of lobbying and that fees paid to a public-sector union are therefore violations of free speech under the First Amendment.

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that corporations are people, the Supreme Court decided in May that people, at least working people of vulnerable status, can be prevented from acting as corporations.

In three consolidated cases involving disputed wage claims, the Court ruled that employers can force workers to accept individual arbitration instead of joining together in class-action lawsuits.

There are five tiers, with the fifth consisting of such countries as Mexico and Iran.

The United States is now in the fourth tier, with Peru and Argentina.

“To employers, migration is a labor-supply system,” writes David Bacon, a photojournalist who studies labor issues on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

“US immigration policy is not intended to keep people from crossing the border; it determines the status of people once they are in the United States.” In short, a fearful workforce is easier to exploit.Trump had better hurry up and build his wall while the traffic is still moving north.Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” and other such cynical measures arguably have more to do with cutting labor costs than curtailing the flow of illegal immigration.“The right wing recognizes the labor movement as a barrier to the achievement of its reactionary goals,” says Gene Bruskin, who led the campaign to organize Smithfield Foods in 2008.The Smithfield campaign resulted in the first union contract for 5,000 workers at a massive pork operation in North Carolina, then the state with the lowest union membership in the nation.Afraid I may be misreading the writing on the wall, I submit my premonitions to Cohen’s more seasoned judgment.“I grew up with the assumption that there was labor and there was management,” I tell him, “and they’d always be locked in this struggle, and sometimes labor would win, and sometimes, probably most of the time, management would win, but they’d be wrestling back and forth, and that’s how it would go on, and in some ways that would be how society progressed.As for Trump himself, he is at best a catalyst for the fight, at worst a distraction from what may already have been the opening salvos of labor’s last stand. At issue in both cases was whether public employees who choose not to join unions can still be charged for representation.In a 5–4 decision, the Court ruled that they cannot.Writing for the majority, Trump-appointed justice Neil Gorsuch maintained that the 1925 Federal Arbitration Act was more pertinent to the cases at hand than the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, which asserts that workers have a right to “concerted activities” for the purpose of “mutual aid or protection.” In actuality, as this ruling and others before and since have made abundantly clear, workers don’t have any rights at all except those they wrest through disciplined organization and militant struggle.Although the Supreme Court’s decision does not affect workers in unions, it does amount to an ominous, ideologically motivated attack on the principle of collective action from which unions derive.


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