Home | About | Donate

America Needs Union Jobs

America Needs Union Jobs

Elizabeth Warren, Steven A. Tolman

When he was gunned down by an assassin’s bullet in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was in Memphis. His last political act was to support sanitation workers as they fought for economic security and dignity on the job. Dr. King understood that the struggle for equality and justice is not limited to civil rights. It also includes economic justice. So, as he led the great struggle for civil rights, he also fought for labor rights.




A lot of talk about what is happening, short on what action to take. I suggest going after the law that requires unions to bargain for non-members.

1 Like

The RTW laws allowing a worker to be represented without being required to pay a service fee or dues to a workers Union makes no sense. This attempt to allow free riders, when a worker would not be required, and refuses to pay Union dues to be represented, seems to be no different than a property owner refusing to pay property taxes for city services, saying these services should be provided with no requirement to pay for those services, yet police, fire, garbage pickup, whatever, shall be provided whenever needed.

I like many, don’t have any kids in school, never did, never will. So why should people be assessed a millage or fee against their person or property for something they’ll never benefit from? If the Supreme Court decides a Union represented worker should be allowed to be free rider anywhere in the United States, then everyone should have government services provided at no charge.


Unions should NOT bargain for non members - period. Heard this Janus is a theocrat who does not support unions because they are democrats, and dems are more likely to support pro choice! He is also at retirement age. So… he’s probably been paying for years, but now is probably being supported by the Kochs. Also, he “forgets” that without unions he probably would be making minimum wage if that with no paid time off or a vacation. What a jerk this Janus is!

1 Like

That’s a “apples and oranges” argument. I agree with the first part of you’re post, because it’s a individual gain it makes sense, a person will gain so he/she should pay their own way.
The second part, is a social gain where everyone benefits. Even though you have no children, society (and you), benefit from all children being educated, fire depts., police depts., ect.

I bring up my above post because this was the shot across the union bow to dilute union strength by the corp’s back in the day. That ruling (where unions have to represent non-union workers), has brought us to today’s legal challenge. The corp’s nail in the union coffin so to speak.

I agree. This ruling was used by the corps. to weaken unions when it came about ( I don’t remember when the courts came to this ruling, late 70’s or early 80’s). It was damaging, but It didn’t have the complete crushing effect that they wanted, so here we are.

Try to ignore that the second part being a social gain. Both of these are about receiving a benefit without paying for it. If the Supreme Court rules that a member is allowed Union benefits and representation without a fee being paid, that’s taking money from those members who still pay dues to support the Union, and the end result would be, if half of the membership suddenly decides to stop paying dues, the cost to the remaining members would have to increase to cover that loss. A Union won’t be able to survive to benefit anyone if the full membership isn’t required to fund it with dues.


In right to work states like mine, the law say’s non-union personnel, (and non-dues paying) receive any benefits bargained for by the union. It’s been that way for awhile. The employees have to be educated, and you’re right it can be a nightmare.

1 Like

This easy to read, to the point, wonderfully written article by Liz Warren is why I support her. I want Bernie and Liz to be our next President and Vice President because they understand the complex forces arrayed against all American workers which represent over eighty percent of all Americans in this country whose interests are being completely undermined by the Trump administration, despite all appearances, and have been in deliberate manufactured decline over the last forty years.

A whole generation of American worker’s lives have been seriously and irrevocably damaged by America’s war on workers in favor of corporate interests that have completely taken over our government to the absolute detriment of most of the American people, and the absolute benefit of the billionaire and millionaire class almost exclusively. The public sector and commons of our commonwealth have been progressively plundered and handed over to corporations to our loss and their benefit by elected officials and corporate maneuvering that has completely betrayed the American people and robbed them of almost everything that we hold in common as the American people, including our public lands and national parks, our prison and corrections system, banking systems, public schools, public water infrastructures, public electrical and other utilities, public airwaves, the internet, and other assets of our commonwealth handed over with minimal or in many cases without any compensation whatsoever. We have lost our rights to fair and free elections, control over campagn contributions and excessive amounts of corporate and wealthy person’s monies used in campaigns as if money were the same as freedom of speech in the terrible Citizens United decision as our Supreme Courts and federal courts are less and less interested in providing democracy and justice for the American people whose rights are being superceeded by corporate rights with fewer and fewer corporate responsibilities. In these and many other ways too numerous and complex for me to list here corporations and billionaire oliogharchs have taken over our country and taken its possession away from the American people and ceded it to themselves while we bear the brunt of the taxes and are progressively robbed of our well being and our livelihoods in unprecedented ways.

In addition, our very civil rights and rights as citizens are under constant assault. Our right to sue corporations for redress is put into forced arbitration. Trade deals are made that benefit multinational corporations owned by oliogharchs that are given rights that undermine our rights as workers and citizens. Every aspect of our lives have been severely affected in harmful ways. We have been poisoned by toxic water systems, by factory farms, herbicides and toxic pesticides against our will, our public schools have been attacked and de-funded, roads and bridges and other infrastructure left to decay, our jobs have been sent to foreign countries for cheaper labor costs by our own government policies and those profiting from doing this have been allowed to not pay their fair share of taxes, leaving the burden on us. The list of abuses and the cynical misuse of our government for private profit and the ensuing corruption has been massive and almost complete to the point that our democratic republic more closely resembles an oliogharchic dictatorship like Putin’s Russia, than the democracy we once were.

We have been conned, lied to, ripped off, plundered, and totally betrayed by our elected officials of both major political parties, whose members have enriched themselves at our dearest expense for over forty years. Today, the Trump administration and the Republican Party have accelerated this process in brazen and unprecedented ways never seen before in any prior administration to the point that the vast majority of the American people have almost completly lost all control of the government that rightfully should belong to them as we are the people that our government was meant to serve, not just the wealthy class. This is absolute class warfare at its very worst and is also the total destruction of majority rule by design.

Therefore, the situation being as dire as it is, I see that the only hope we have is the progressive democrats and Bernie and Liz. Republicans have become the real enemy of over eighty percent of the ordinary American people along with the moderate or corporate democrats that allowed these thugs to bring us to this dire state of affairs. We must move sharply to the left because we have been going so far right as to become a fascist dictatorship! Just to get back to moderation we must turn to the left sharply!

I am terrified and disgusted with what has been happening to a country that I was once proud to be a member of, and if the Americans can people do not rise up and set these things back into the right order soon, I am going to leave this country in utter disgust, even though my ancestors came here on the Mayflower! For goodness sake people, democracy is not a conservative institution, it is decidedly liberal! These people are talking about freedom while they are making all working people into slaves forever. Republicans are all either complete fools or liars, they have nothing to offer us. Therefore, we must force the Democratic Party to work for our interests like the Tea Party pushed the republicans, only this time it will be for our good, and not our detriment. Forget about the abortion issue for now, our very lives are at stake and those right wing preachers were lying to everyone anyway.

So I hope that Bernie and Liz and other progressive democrats win and keep on winning and that they don’t ever let us down too much. We must realize that they will make mistakes, but all I ask is that their hearts and minds be in the right place and they do their best to bring our country back from the brink, that is enough, and we all must help. No elected officials can do it alone. This time it is going to take as many little people as we can get to fight the Republican Sauron, as it did in Lord of the Rings. We need all the brave hobbits we can get. Even the smallest person can change the course of history for good, as Galadriel once said to Frodo. The time to fight for our freedom and our rights is now or never! I am with you!


That is the whole point. Gorsuch was put on the Supreme Court to put an end to all labor unions. This was carefully planned by the republicans in our country at the direction of the Koch brothers and their allies. The point is to begin the permanent enslavement of all of the American workers. We are the boiling frogs. They have set the table and are preparing to dine on frogs legs for supper! It is time for our Revolution!


Forcing RTW onto federal workers is a coveted plum for the oligarchs. It is just as sinister whether implemented nationally or within individual states. It disenfranchises those who democratically vote to unionize. I would like to collect full Social Security benefits without ever paying in a dime. I would like to enjoy having great infrastructure without paying taxes. What “conservative” politician (or judge) would endorse such idiocy? Well, we’ll see.

By subverting the constitution, by making legal consensual organizing ‘illegal’, they are making illegal, economically disruptive actions - think widespread General Strikes - inevitable. Bottling up the social pressure through harsher and tighter restrictions on workers control over their own labor will inevitably result in a bigger explosion. Once the spark occurs, it will be too late to diffuse it, and evidence of impending sparks is abundant.

1 Like

Dear Bleeding Heart, I am in solidarity with your impassioned and pretty right-on characterization of what is happening to working people in our nation. Thank you for writing it; I hope (to paraphrase Ben Franklin) we can “keep” our republic and its potential to resist oligarchy, and come to more engaged democracy for us all. It doesn’t look good, but we have to try, and Bernie and Elizabeth are certainly inspiring many of us.

1 Like

Yeah, and America needs a real 99%, workers, environment first party and it’s NOT the DINO corporate whore Democratic Party! The DP has betrayed workers and the 99% over and over again in concert with the evil twin R’Con scum!

We need dedicated courageous leaders to buck the two party scam - the Clintons and Obama’s - will it be you Liz? Or will you continue to cling to that rotten sinking ship of complicity , “compromise”, and cowardice? Time to take a stand! Walk the freakin walk!

We need a Progressive Populist People’s Party - a third (or fourth) party to end the good-cop - bad-cop charade of the two party capitalist parasite, corporate, banker, wall street, war-machine system!

“The fight to protect and to grow the labor movement - (as well as so much more actually!) - is about strengthening America’s middle class and building opportunities for all our families — and we will not back down from that fight.” good sound-bite, much less action to reform the DP!

Where was that principled fight when the corporate right DP foisted the despised Hillary Clinton on America and progressives - the only candidate the evil moron trump could have beaten - and sabotaged Sanders?

Call the unions like the teamsters and AFSME and state your support!


There is always a paucity of comment here when the subject is union rights.

1 Like

You needed unions 40 years ago, now you need revolution.

Well, before the election, when I brought up the court and union rights, I was told I was pushing fear voting as if there wasn’t legitimate reasons for fear. Wait till Sanders tried to pass Medicare for All. If progressives think this court will be amenable to it, well . . .

Agree, it’s like that everywhere. The state I live in is as anti-union as they get. I’m lucky that I live in the area that has the most union members statewide, (shipbuilding stronghold), and I still wouldn’t call it pro-union. It did help when trying to educate the public when I was the Firefighters Local president in the 80’s.