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Thomas Perez: Obama's Labor Secretary Choice

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Thomas Perez: Obama's Labor Secretary Choice

by Stephen Lendman

Obama's at war with labor.

Throughout his tenure, Obama waged war on labor. Perez won't change things. He'll replace Hilda Solis. She resigned in January. She accomplished little in four years. 

She's the daughter of immigrant union members. She failed to deliver as promised. She pledged to make a difference and didn't. Expect little change from Perez. More on him below.

Organized labor in America's in disarray. In January, union membership reached a near-century low. Only 11.3% of US workers are organized.

Private sector unionization's down to 6.6%. It's the lowest percentage in over 100 years. It's headed perhaps for extinction. 

Union bosses bear much responsibility. They side more with management than rank and file members. They conspire against their own. 

They abandoned their most effective weapon. They rarely strike. They block collective struggle. They betray promises made. 

They're self-serving. They prioritize their own welfare. They place it above rank and file interests. They're complicit in supporting the divine right of capital. They've been that way for decades.

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%. It continues declining annually.

Obama, other Democrats, Republicans and union bosses conspire. They do so unconscionably. They want workers to live or die by market-based rules. They're rigged against them. They haven't got a chance. They're on their own sink or swim.

A race to the bottom heads them toward serfdom. In November 2003, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) offered hope. It went nowhere during Bush's tenure. 

Obama followed suit. He spurned it. In July 2009, he and Senate Democrats agreed to block EFCA's "card check" provision. They removed it 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. 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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