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Wed Dec 9, 2015, 01:31 AM

WaPo Attacks Unions for Seeking Higher Wages for Their Members

WaPo Attacks Unions for Seeking Higher Wages for Their Members

By Dean Baker
Dec 05 2015

The Washington Post has long expressed outrage over the fact that unionized auto workers can get $28 an hour. Therefore it is hardly surprising to see editorial page writer Charles Lane with a column complaining that “the United Auto Workers sell out nonunion auto workers.”

The piece starts out by acknowledging that the AFL-CIO opposes tax provisions and trade agreements (wrongly called free trade agreements — apparently Lane has not heard about the increases in patent and copyright protection in these pacts) that encourage outsourcing. He could have also noted that it has argued for measures against currency management and promoted labor rights elsewhere, also measures that work against outsourcing. And it would be appropriate to note in this context its support for measures that help the workforce as a whole, like Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and the Affordable Care Act.

But in spite of this seeming support for the workforce as a whole, Lane decides he is going to prove to his readers that the United Auto Workers supports outsourcing. His smoking gun is the argument that if the union had agreed to lower pay for its workers at the Big Three, then they might shift fewer jobs to Mexico.

Lane’s water pistol here is shooting blanks. As he himself notes in the piece, even the non-union car manufacturers are shifting jobs to Mexico. They have cheaper wages there; companies will therefore try to do this. Essentially, Lane is arguing that unions sell out non-union workers by pushing for higher wages for their workers because if unionized workers got low pay in the United States, there would be less incentive to look overseas for cheap labor. That may be compelling logic at the Washington Post, but probably not anywhere else in the world.

More:
http://fair.org/home/wapo-attacks-unions-for-seeking-higher-wages-for-their-members/



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Reply WaPo Attacks Unions for Seeking Higher Wages for Their Members (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2015 OP
Wellstone ruled Dec 2015 #1
Midnight Writer Dec 2015 #2
nitpicker Dec 2015 #3
Populist_Prole Dec 2015 #4
Populist_Prole Dec 2015 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Dec 9, 2015, 01:56 AM

1. Round about way of taking the focus away from the hugh

lead any Democratic Candidate has.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Dec 9, 2015, 02:31 AM

2. So how much does Charles Lane make? Has he ever asked for a raise?

Does he have a contract? Does he (or his lawyer or agent) negotiate the terms of his employment? Doesn't he know that his demands for higher wages and perks hurt other employees who don't have his clout? Does he disclose any of this in his editorial?

Just asking.

Seems relevant to me.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Dec 9, 2015, 04:57 AM

3. Is the article title misleading?

Perhaps it should have been

WaPo COLUMNIST Attacks Unions for Seeking Higher Wages for Their Members

The Washington Post has columnists from all over the political spectrum. They even have George Will as a regular. It's therefore no surprise that the Faux News guest Charles Lane has a column too.

In my opinion, the real issue is that the Chinese slowdown

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35046322

has helped to drive down raw materials' prices, including oil.

Couple that with the heavying of Americans, and those that can afford a vehicle are going to go for roominess (e.g. SUVs and crossovers). Lower sales volume for small cars makes them less profitable than before. This helps encourage companies to shift small-car production out of the US IF it will cut costs.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Dec 9, 2015, 01:49 PM

4. He's basically calling for a race to the bottom to slow down the RATE of offshoring

It's a perniciously disingenuous argument, and it's obvious he cares not a whit about labor as a whole.

Labor is going to be thrown under the bus anyway; it's just that if they have lower pay on the way there, it will result in fatter bottom lines for corporations.

Nothing new under the sun from the plutocrats and their minions.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Dec 9, 2015, 02:21 PM

5. In addition

Forgot to mention prevously.

This was the exact rhetoric that gasbag Limbaugh was spewing in the 80's and 90's. Long before he went into full fascist/teabagger mode, he sold himself as a conservative populist of sorts, or at least played that angle from time to time to broaden his appeal. He would always aver he wasn't anti-worker, but anti-organized labor. He would speciously act as more or less what we would call a "concern troll" today.

You could see right through it, but not enough did. As the layers of subterfuge were generally peeled back in cross arguments, his disdain for the working class as a whole became more and more aparrent. He wasn't anti-union because he cared about labor: He was anti-union because unions represented the biggest obstacle in the marginalization of labor as a whole. Get rid of the sole remaining obstacle, and the remaining working class can be flushed aside and asunder like a swarm of ants under a high pressure water hose.

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