I know I haven’t been in the USA for awhile. Maybe I am a little out of touch. But I am completely baffled by the people who are against organized labor!
So here’s a quick explanation:
Let’s call the example company “Greedy Men.”
So Greedy Men decide that their workers should take a pay cut. Profits are up and productivity is up, but the CEO wants a new yacht and possibly a vacation house in Maui. So he decides that he will cut wages of all employees by $2 per hour.
He also realizes that some of them are doing unskilled labor. He can outsource this labor, so he does. As those jobs go to India, he lays off 200 employees at his US locations.
Then, he realizes that the health insurance plan that he has covered quite a lot. Those people shouldn’t be getting so much help from him! Why, they should have to pay 100% of the cost of their medical insurance! It shouldn’t cover anything, either! He quickly switches to a carrier with worse plans and stops the employer contributions to their premiums.
Finally the CEO of Greedy Men is able to buy his yacht and his vacation home, and he even has extra money that he decides to hide in a tax shelter in Panama.
Meanwhile, the workers at Greedy Men are not doing so well. Many lost their homes when their wages were cut. Many more lost their jobs when the CEO outsourced several positions to India. And now, worker after worker is having to file for bankruptcy if they are their children get sick.
The workers are hungry. They are poor. And they know that the company is posting record profits and that the CEO has more money than he can spend. They know this isn’t right. After all, the CEO doesn’t even work. He sits at home while they work every day to make the products that he sells! He inherited the company from his dad, and has never worked a day in his life. Why should someone who doesn’t work get to collect all the money from the labor of the workers, and not give some of that profit to the people who did the work?
So, the workers organize.
They go on strike.
They stop producing the goods that Greedy Man sells, and so the company suddenly has no profits.
The CEO realizes that his workers are the one who make the products, and he actually does need them. He is not going to get his hands dirty and make the products himself! So he asks what they want.
It turns out, all the workers are asking for is a fair wage for their work, and medical benefits that actually cover things when they are sick or injured.
The CEO gives up, and he agrees to their terms.
He still makes plenty of profit. He is not hurt in any way. But he puts a little less extra money in his tax shelter overseas.
Meanwhile, the workers now make a living wage. They spend their money on food, clothes, and good and services they need to live. This pumps money into the economy and increases demand for products. The economy grows stronger and the US becomes a better country.
And this, my dear Americans, is why we need organized labor. I have always been and will always be pro-Union. I think it’s horrible that the government puts so many restrictions on the right of the people to organize. In particular, it is pretty much impossible in “right to work” states to do anything even remotely like organizing, because the law is on the side of the company and workers have no protections.
Please, do not let the Republican media brainwash you. I know that since 2008 every single media outlet has been purchased by Rupert Murdock or the Koch Brothers. I know that all the things you hear on the news are pro-corporation and anti-labor.
But look; you are the labor. Please learn to be pro-yourself. This is the most dramatic example I have seen of people acting against their own interests and this anti-Union rhetoric needs to stop.