From then to now, so are Democrats and Republicans, exacting a devastating toll thereafter. From union membership's post-war 1950s 34.7% high, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the following on January 21, 2011:
In 2010, membership ranks declined from 12.3% in 2009 to 11.9% currently, a shadow of its former self in collapse. "The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions declined by 612,000 to 14.7 million." Among public sector workers, 36.7% are organized compared to 6.9% for private sector ones, down from 30% in 1958, their peak.
According to 2009 BLS figures, organized public sector ranks surpassed private ones for the first time, even though commerce and industry employs five times more workers.
Today, the US Postal Service has three times more than auto companies, no thanks to corrupted union bosses colluding with business and government, betraying their rank and file. As a result, labor historian Paul Buhle sees organized labor collapsing, and labor author Robert Fitch compared American workers to "owners of a family car whose wheels fell off long ago. Each family member (now must rely) on their own two feet; they scarcely remember what it was like being able to ride together." They don't recall once having rights long ago stripped and lost.
Why? Because union bosses sold out, siding with employers, getting big salaries and fancy perks, and being more concerned with their own welfare than rank and file members they represent. Or so they claim.
Continuing where Reagan/Bush, Clinton and Bush II left off, Obama colluded with union bosses to impose his business-friendly agenda on working Americans, gutting their rights methodically since taking office.
Should his gutless response to Wisconsin protesters surprise? In a February 16 Milwaukee WTMJ television interview, he posed fraudulently as worker-friendly, saying:
"Everybody's got to make some adjustments to new fiscal realities," endorsing wage cuts to "save jobs," adding: