E pluribus unions

President Reagan with William French Smith mak...

President Reagan with William French Smith making a statement to the press regarding the air traffic controllers strike (PATCO) from the Rose Garden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unions have been losing members since Ronald Reagan broke the air traffic controllers strike. Now the GOP are going after unions of public employees including teachers. If you are wondering why all the gains in employee productivity have gone to owners and management and not to workers, it is because unions are no longer strong enough to demand a more equitable division of the fruits of increased worker productivity. The GOP response is that gains in productivity result from capital investments, but that is only partly true. There would be no gains in productivity at all without a trained and educated workforce.

Another reason why wages have been stagnant since 1980 is that business have caused laws to be changed reducing regulation and taxes, allowing business to relocate abroad, or to import goods from abroad where those goods are made without American labor, paying substandard wages and making workers live and work in unsafe conditions.

Only by uniting together in unions are workers strong enough to confront today’s giant corporations. Out of many, let there be a few strong unions that sit down at bargaining tables as equals to corporate persons. In today’s economy where the economic pie is growing slowly, a bigger piece for owners and management means a smaller piece for workers.