Unions?

A rally of the trade union UNISON in Oxford du...

A rally of the trade union UNISON in Oxford during a strike on March 28, 2006, with members carrying picket signs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now I am seeing some posts saying that unions were necessary in the past, but they aren’t necessary now. What has changed? In the past, unions gave workers bargaining power in the work place to ensure good treatment and a larger share in the fruits of their labor. Unions helped make workplaces safer and reduced the hours in the workweek. Unions helped millions attain middle-class status, and a healthy middle-class is essential to preserving our democracy.

What has changed that makes unions unnecessary? Is the middle-class expanding or shrinking? It is shrinking rapidly.

Is the workweek growing or shrinking? It is growing as Americans work longer hours at one or more jobs to try to make ends meet.

Is workplace safety and food and drug safety increasing or diminishing? They are diminishing as the GOP deregulates and cuts funding for the regulators still in business.

Do workers receive some of the results of increasing productivity? For the past 30 years, workers’ incomes have stagnated while the results of productivity gains have gone to the people at the top.

How fares our democracy? With the combination of Citizens United and a stubborn GOP, our democracy is fading away. We have not yet attained third world status with the stark division of rich and poor and elections that change nothing, but we are moving closer to that status.

Please see Article demonstrating need for unions