Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   1 comment
OpEdNews Op Eds

10 Ways To Make The Economy Work For The Many, Not The Few: #7, Strengthen Unions, Pre-empt State "Right To Work" Laws

By       Message Robert B. Reich     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 47089
Become a Fan
  (120 fans)
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from Robert Reich Blog

From youtube.com/watch?v=oNASvQQvt7k: Thom Hartmann explains there are only two things that can stand up to billionaires and big corporations -- government and unions.
Thom Hartmann explains there are only two things that can stand up to billionaires and big corporations -- government and unions.
(Image by YouTube)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

One big reason America was far more equal in the 1950s and 1960s than now is unions were stronger then. That gave workers bargaining power to get a fair share of the economy's gains -- and unions helped improve wages and working conditions for everyone.

- Advertisement -

But as union membership has weakened -- from more than a third of all private-sector workers belonging unions in the 1950s to fewer than 7 percent today -- the bargaining power of average workers has all but disappeared.

In fact, the decline of the American middle class mirrors almost exactly the decline of American labor union membership.

So how do we strengthen unions?

- Advertisement -

First, make it easier to form a union, with a simple majority of workers voting up or down.

Right now, long delays and procedural hurdles give big employers plenty of time to whip up campaigns against unions, even threatening they'll close down and move somewhere else if a union is voted in.

Second, build in real penalties on companies that violate labor laws by firing workers who try to organize a union or intimidating others.

These moves are illegal, but nowadays the worst that can happen is employers get slapped on the wrist. If found guilty they have to repay lost wages to the workers they fire. Some employers treat this as a cost of doing business. That must be stopped. Penalties should be large enough to stop this illegality.

Finally -- this one has been in the news lately, and if you only remember one thing, remember this: We must enact a federal law that pre-empts so-called state "right-to-work" laws.

- Advertisement -

Don't be fooled by the "right to work" name. These laws allow workers to get all the benefits of having a union without paying union dues. It's a back door destroying unions. If no one pays dues, unions have no way to provide any union benefits. And that means lower wages.

In fact, wages in right-to-work states are lower on average than wages in non-right-to-work states, by an average of about $1500 a year. Workers in right-to-work states are also less likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance and pension coverage.

When unions are weakened by right-to-work laws, all of a state's workers are hurt.

American workers need a union to bargain on their behalf. Low-wage workers in big-box retail stores and fast-food chains need a union even more.

If we want average Americans to get a fair share of the gains from economic growth, they need to be able to unionize.

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

http://robertreich.org/

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

What to Do About Disloyal Corporations

The Gas Wars

The Minimum Wage, Guns, Healthcare, and the Meaning of a Decent Society