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:
- wage shifts by occupation
- the shift from industrial to low paying service jobs
- rising education wage differentials
- the eroded minimum wage
- 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