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The Future of U.S. Jobs Looks Bleak. Unions Are the Answer.

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/06/future-us-jobs-looks-bleak-unions-are-answer

While I agree with MS. Shierholz that we need “strong labor standards, strong enforcement of those standards, and reform labor law so that workers who want to join a union are able to do so.”
It must go further than that, we must reevaluate, what are now considered menial jobs as to their true importance and value to society in relation to other occupations. Should a personal care aide and home health aide be paid 1/8 or less than a physician? Should a registered nurse be paid 1/3 or less than a physician? I’m not saying they should be paid the same, but the scale seems to be out of wack for the value of these jobs and their importance to society. We have too many positions in this country that are grossly over paid for what they produce, and too many positions underpaid for what they produce for the benefit of society.

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I am of the opinion that garbage collectors should get more money than hedge fund managers. The managers could go away tomorrow and very few people would be affected. Everyone notices when the garbage collectors go on strike.


Police unions should not be allowed entry into any multi-union organizations. As a past Firefighter local president I can tell you, they stand with no one, most of the time not even with themselves, when it comes to labor action. All I ever heard from them was why they couldn’t participate in whatever action we were doing at the time.

What we need is to realize that we do not have to replace every job with technology, just because technology could. We can say no. We would have to kill free market capitalism, but lets live dangerously rather than die like cowards. We can have a free market economy without capitalism’s cannibalism. In fact, we need to become less efficient, as we need to slow down our fossil fuel use more than anything else. The underlying assumptions of this article assume that the forces that are rapidly destroying civilization can and will stay in place, and all we need are “labor unions”. Owners and workers should be the same people. Organizations need to be co-ops, not corps. Labor unions are, because of the structure of capitalism, likely to become, over time, as corrupt, and self-serving, as thier corporate management enemies. An incessant fight over who gets how much money is no way to manage a competent, ethical organization that provides some product, and despite the fact that in the US corporations have no social or individual responsiblities, other than to maximze profits, whatever the cost to people, the air, the world, the ecosystem. Unless we re-create our economy on principles that are grounded in our interconnectedness, and responsibliity to each other, our fellow species in the ecosystem , and to the beautiful blue earth itself, we will continue our slow-motion suicide.

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Manufacturing only:
We have already closed 66% of factories that had unionized workers.
This began about 1980 with automotive suppliers.
The disease spread quick;y throughout the northwest territories.
Arrogant, greedy small shop owners. Low quality,

Harlan County Kentucky.
Men there do work, unlike South Carolina.
Very able to take care of themselves and families.
Has history of labor unions along with Pulaski County, KY.

The founder of AFL/CIO in Pennsylvania was Julius Uehlein. He is one of my hundred heroes.

We need one or more national unions. Then if you don’t want to be in a government union, or a corporate union, you still have a non-partisan union you can join.

Government employees have AFGE and it’s affiliated with local unions, but other than that, I don’t know much about them. There are other unions for government employees that are affiliated with the AFL/CIO.