Labor Liaison Corner – November 2016

Now that the presidential election of 2016 is part of history, what should labor do?
…Build power and to organize in anti-union era. Both parties courted the working
class and divided us by nationality as well as documented and undocumented. Because organized union labor is down to 11.3% compared to 20.1% in 1983, it is my opinion that our power is limited.  We need to step up our organizing and push what ever party is in power to support union check off, rather than pushing anti-union measures like “Right to Work” laws which prohibit agreements between employers and labor unions.

Let us not forget that the working class is large and diverse, and class is a matter of
relationship and power, not a job title. To have a real analysis of class in the United States, we must examine six realities and trends that exist:

  1. wage shifts by occupation
  2. the shift from industrial to low paying service jobs
  3. rising education wage differentials
  4. the eroded minimum wage
  5. unemployment
  6. levels of household income

Never forget that class is not in a box that we fit based on our personal attributes, and not isolated and self-contained. We, as the working class, have the power once we understand that our diversity makes us a strong family that goes beyond skin color, place of birth, or religion. # working class matters.

The Working Class Majority: Americas Best- Kept Secret, Michael Zweig

The State of Working America 2004- 2005, Michael Bernstein and Allegretto, The
Economic Policy Institute