Union Advantage: The Case for Organized Labor and Democracy in the Workplace

Union Advantage: The Case for Organized Labor
and Democracy in the Workplace,
David Kusnet, Tom
Paine.com

This weekend marked Labor Day, which we vaguely understand as a day
to celebrate workers. Yet how many of us know the state of workers’
rights in the U.S. today? According to David Kusnet, a former
speechwriter for President Clinton and staffer for the AFL-CIO,
conditions for workers and labor unions are far worse than many of
us realize. In Tom Paine.Com, Kusnet notes that a
mere 16 percent of the American workforce now belong to labor
unions. The reason is not, as corporations and conservatives would
have us believe, that workers no longer want to organize. Unions
have long proven their ability to improve worker wages and
benefits. The real reason for low union participation today is
company intimidation. Workers attempting to form unions are often
threatened, coerced, or even fired. Kusnet muses that if Tom Paine,
the great working class hero and revolutionary, were alive on Labor
Day 2001, he might remind us how much ground we’ve lost in the
fight for workers’ rights.
–Lila
Kitaeff
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