HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Inequality and the Case f...

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 07:02 AM

Inequality and the Case for Unions [View all]


A rally for workers' rights in Buffalo, NY. (Photo: Lady Buffalo/cc/flickr)

Across the country, Republican legislatures – encouraged and financed, as usual, by corporate money and right wing think tanks-- have undertaken a stunning array of initiatives designed to weaken unions and otherwise undermine American workers. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, along with several other Republican governors, has moved aggressively and conspicuously to disempower public sector unions. Nikki Haley, the Republican Governor of South Carolina, recently declared that unionized businesses are not welcome in South Carolina.

Republicans tell a tired, cynical story about all of this, insisting that union busting is, somehow, good for the economy and good for workers. It’s the same old trickle down nonsense.

Democrats, on the other hand, have done too little to defend unions and worker rights.

This systematic attack on unions is, of course, bad for working Americans. Unionized workers in the US earn more money than non-union workers with similar skills (14% more, according to the Economic Policy Institute). Unionized workers are 28% more likely to have employer provided health insurance and 54% more likely to have employer provided pensions. Unionized workers enjoy more vacation time, and they are more productive than non-union workers. Countries with high rates of union coverage enjoy lower rates of inequality and lower rates of poverty, and their workers enjoy greater economic security. And, further, a robust union movement raises pay and working conditions for non-union workers as well.

What’s not to like?

In 1973, 27% of US workers were unionized. Now, it’s just 13% -- the lowest rate among the world’s rich (“industrialized”) countries. It is no coincidence that the U.S. is, by every reasonable measure, the most unequal of the world’s rich countries.

1 replies, 682 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply Inequality and the Case for Unions [View all]
xchrom Jun 2014 OP
OLDMDDEM Jun 2014 #1