Michigan Freedom to Freeload: Tuesday, July 19

This is Paul Lemmon on the need for organized labor. It’s an older video but it’s right on target as to why we need to have a strong, organized workforce.

” … it not only drove a collective voice for those it had collective bargaining on, it drove it for those that didn’t. Because IBM didn’t want to be unionized, so as not to be unionized, they went and started a pension plan, they gave health care, they gave dental benefits. Those companies didn’t invent those benefits. The first collective medical plan ever for a group of people was United Mine Workers.

Like I said, Paul is right on target. Organized labor improves working conditions for everyone, even those workers in non-union environments. We need to protect our quality of life by putting an end to these right-wing attacks on our workforce.

This is a Michigan Freedom to Freeload (Right to Work for Less) post. For more information on fighting the right wing attacks on labor, follow this category on BFM or visit the Michigan AFL-CIO.

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  1. I think framing scRTW in terms of tragedy of the commons can only backfire against the labor movement, what with economists and other conservatives accusing us of being rent seekers or cartels or worse.  I'd like to see less emphasis on so-called Right To Work and more on Right To Organize, in terms of public policy, I'm talking Employee Free Choice Act.  For every person with an anti-union attitude who nevertheless works in a union shop, there must be at least a half a dozen workers who wish they could land (as fictional character Roseanne Arnold put it) a "good union job."  For the former category (the nominal union members who piss and moan about union dues or union political activism), I'd use the trite slogan I've heard millions of times from libertarians and other conservatives: "Nobody's holding a gun to your head."

    • Lori that's a great point, we should focus more on the right to organize, and on the EFCA.  There are a lot of employers who will fire you for attempting to organize.  Where's the freedom and liberty in a policy that prohibits freedom of association and collaboration?

  2. jimmypedersen says:

    Lori makes a good point, in that we need to keep talking about the ability, the freedom, to form unions outside of the coersive nature of NLRB elections.  Workers get intimidated and harrassed in every union election,something the Employee Free Choice Act was designed to eleiminate.  The UAW has proposed The Principles for fair union election – equal time and access to workers and bosses alike, but so farr no corporate takers.   RTW folks are also completly ignoring the obvious fact that all workers have the ability of avoiding union membership, by finding a job in an unorganized workplace.  I'm speaking to the basic premise that all workers want the goodies a union brings, but some want it for free. 

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