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U.S. Workers Are Standing Up for Their Rights. A New Law Would Back Them Up.

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/05/31/us-workers-are-standing-their-rights-new-law-would-back-them

How about eliminating national unions and the corruption that haunts them. Have a combination HR Dept. and employee union per company. They often provide duplicate services anyway,

Looks like another mass shooting, this time in Virginia Beach. Same ingredients. A disgruntled person (employee this time), a male, and a gun.
Do we fix all of that, parts of that, or just wait for the next one?
People do not handle bad situations as well as they used to, or situations are worse than they used to be. It has become a more acceptable way to take care of personal problems, and certain individuals have chosen this way to settle their grievances or end their pain.
Was there opportunity to counsel this person? We need to know that.

Perhaps the biggest obstacles to union representation for disorganized workers is education and fear. In any large corporation such as Walmart, you always have anti-union propaganda being preached to the employees, which puts them in constant fear of losing their minimum wage (and benefit?) job. Unions that could represent workers, would do well to develop a plan of action to get information to any unorganized employee or potential employee outlining the benefits of organization and representation. If an unorganized worker gets all their information from the employer, it’s likely they’ll never know how much better it would be not having to beg for a little bit more. Just like all Chambers of Commerce represent business, unions need to counter their efforts with local education centers supporting employees.

Large employers who refuse to pay a fair wage and provide even average benefits for medical, vacation, and retirement perks that are standards for union workers, are very poor community members. If workers aren’t receiving a living wage and benefit package, while the corporate office siphons off and transfers extreme profits back to an office far, far away, that impacts the whole community. These employees can’t afford to support home builders, car dealers, restaurants, furniture stores, and other retailers in their community. But of course those profits that go back to corporate headquarters, provide for their community in that area.

About $2.5 trillion of income each year has transferred from the lower-earning 90% to the top-earning 10%, over the period 1980 to 2014, says a study at Levy Economics Institute by O. Giovannoni using data from Piketty and Saez. If the lower-earning 90% of households reclaimed the lost income share, each of the 114 million households (out of 127 million total) would increase their incomes by $22,000 roughly. The Economic Policy Institute also duplicates this estimate at a site titled What Should You Be Earning?. For instance if your pay was $33,561, the median wage income for all 162 million workers, the site says your pay should be $52,408. If your income comes to the median household income, $61,822, it says your pay should be $86,547, and if your household income fell on the 34th percentile of $40,010 (see dqydj.com) then you should be earning $60,954. Ge the idea? The Giovannoni graph (National Income Shares Part 3) shows the drop from 1980 to 2014, a drop of 17% of national income, about $2.5 trillion in today’s economy. Also 90% of the profits from the 500 largest corporations go to stock dividends or stock buybacks, over a ten year period, says professor Lazonick at INET.org. The top 1% triples its income over 34 years while the lower-earning half sees a 1% increase, from $16,000 to $16,200 (per adult) in same period, says the Piketty, Saez study at WCEG.org (Tale of Two Countries). I outline all this to show the potential of a real income shift, a recapture of income, to a distribution profile that was maintained between 1946 and 1980. It’s possible, but only with workers and voters changing the power relations, and the PRO act begins the process. Placing workers on corporate boards would also help. A minimum wage of $15 an hour, lots of worker protections, and so on. I hope my blog will help – http://benL88.blogspot.com.


This legislation is pretty damn weak, and more importantly WILL NOT pass. What is needed is the EFCA or Card Check which if enacted would simply be you would sign a card indicating you either want to join the Union or not. If you get a majority you are unionized. We need unions in this country again. All the other industrialized countries in the world have much more liberal laws concerning unions. I retired at age 54 with a modest pension BECAUSE I was in a union, not to mention the holidays, sick days, vacations and decent working conditions.



Happy land of infinite economic opportunity. Nothing to complain about.