The vicious attack on workers being carried out in states throughout the country is a hard lesson for America’s rank-and-file union members about the dangers of putting anti-worker candidates in control of state governments.
The lesson: Trade unionists flirt with disaster when they fail to vote in their own best interest.
In November, voters in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Florida and several smaller states elected an anti-labor gang of governors and like-minded state legislators who now control a majority of states. Many of the new legislators were Tea Party members, some of whom are in the forefront of the attack on labor.
Most of these states have historically been good labor states, with a high density of union members in the workplace. Obviously, many of those workers voted for candidates who promised them everything except the good wages, hours, working conditions, benefits and job security offered by their union jobs. Polls show the workers fell for it.
When they were campaigning, anti-labor gang members didn’t tell the electorate they would wage a campaign to destroy the unions after they were elected. But union leaders knew better; they warned the nation’s workers, but nobody was listening.
And now the Republican governors and legislators are trying to do what union leaders predicted: destroy the labor movement.
Without unions–which set compensation standards for all workers, union and nonunion—wages will plummet, benefits will be nonexistent and job security will be wishful thinking. And–pity the miners and others who work in dangerous fields–there will be no standards for occupational safety and health.
Eventually the U.S. workforce will become a Third World workforce. And that is the goal of the billionaires, millionaires and corporations.
The excuse the union-busters hide behind in their scurrilous attack on workers is that their states face huge budget deficits and they must reduce state expenditures.
Workers aren’t the villains in the country’s economic mess by any stretch of the imagination. Wall Street money manipulators are the real culprits, and they have been bailed out by the taxpayers, which includes the country’s workforce.
The attack on public sector unions is on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers only because they make the most convenient target for cash-strapped states.
But the anti-labor gang is really after all unions.
Private sector unions are also being targeted throughout the country. Right-to-work and/or paycheck deception proposals are being introduced in several states. Project labor agreements and prevailing wage laws are also under siege.
So the anti-worker campaign is not simply an attack on public sector unions. It covers both public and private sector unions. If they manage to get one, they are likely to get the other.
If they do, they will have completed the most effective assault ever on the standard of living of the nation’s middle class.
The stakes for the American worker is are as high as they’ve ever been. The time is now for America’s workers get off the couch, switch off the television and join the fight for a secure future.