Union Man

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Biden Is Betting on Unions. They Might Bet on Someone Else.

Of course. Biden is, unapologetically, the conventional candidate in the Democratic primary, gunning for the conventional Democratic voter using a conventional strategy with a fairly conventional message.

Teachings of Joseph F. Smith

And probably in his first campaign for the Senate long before that, too, some 47 years ago. The labor movement is bidding for a restoration as well—to its central place in the American economy and to its heft as a political force. The decline of union membership is well documented : In , just Trump has sought to twist the knife, boasting about his support from union members in his victory over Clinton and arguing that staunchly Democratic labor leaders are more and more out of touch with their rank and file. Trump did do measurably better among union households than Mitt Romney did four years earlier, according to exit-poll data , which found Clinton winning the cohort by just eight points.

But internal polling from the AFL-CIO showed that the shift among its membership from to was caused principally by a drop-off in the vote for Clinton compared with Obama—not a surge in support for Trump.

S workers have more difficulty forming unions than Canadians, and U. The intent is to enable corporations to own their workers, lock, stock, and soul. Lewis Powell, the late U.

Part of the Union

He castigated those on the left pursuing a fairer, safer, and more humane society. That is exactly what the Chamber achieved. These groups bankrolled conservative candidates and secured appointment of conservative judges. Income inequality declined, and North America became home to the largest middle class in history. Virtually all new income and profits went to CEOs, stockholders, and the already rich.

Joe Biden Is Counting on Unions to Back Him in - The Atlantic

The middle class dwindled as income inequality rose to Gilded Age levels. This occurred at the same time that corporations expanded, becoming massive multinationals, with facilities sprawled across the world and without allegiance to any country. This happened to Inco. Vale do Rio Doce, a Brazilian corporation, bought it in , and now Vale is a true multinational with facilities worldwide.

Multinationals spurned their obligation to serve workers, consumers, communities, and shareholders. Instead, they focused only on shareholders, the rest be damned. They closed factories in the United States and Canada and moved them to places like Mexico and China, with low wages and lax environmental laws. As far back as the s, the USW, the AFL-CIO , as well as the textile, shoe, steel, and other industry leaders, warned Congress about what this trend, combined with increasing imports, meant for American workers and their neighborhoods.

In , after the United States experienced its first two years of trade deficits in a century, I. It very nearly killed the steel industry, which has suffered tsunami after tsunami of bankruptcies, gunpoint mergers, and mill closures. Tens of thousands of family-supporting jobs were lost and communities across both the United States and Canada hollowed out. Every imported toy, shoe, bolt of cloth, and ingot of steel means fewer U.

Williams—escalated the battle against offshored factories and unfairly traded imports. Tens of thousands of workers rallied, camped out in Washington, D. Working with allies in the community, such as environmental and human rights groups, faith and food safety organizations, together we have won some short-term relief measures. These include the tariffs on imported steel and aluminum imposed last year and the defeat of the proposed new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have extended NAFTA problems across Pacific Rim countries.

Now the USW participates in three global unions, which together represent more than 82 million workers in more than countries worldwide. These employers quickly learned that taking on workers at one factory meant taking on workers at all of their workplaces internationally. This international brotherhood and sisterhood stood with Canadian mine and smelter workers for a year beginning in July During its first negotiations with the USW, Vale, the Brazilian corporation that bought Inco, demanded harsh concessions from its thousands of Canadian workers.

I started talking regularly with the head of the CUT in Brazil to strategize and plan joint actions. Brazilian workers and community groups wholeheartedly supported their Canadian brothers and sisters. They demonstrated in front of the Vale headquarters and threw red paint—symbolizing blood—on the building. They shut down traffic with all sorts of street actions. They protested at the Vale shareholders meeting, inside and out. The State is under imperative obligation to protect these men in possession of their property, or it would cease to exist.

For this reason the trust has a right to call on the State for effective protection, and if this should necessitate the shooting to death of every miner in the State, it would have to be done, and neither policeman nor soldier would be legally culpable.

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If the property rights of the trust are not maintained inviolate, then is no property safe? Neither is the trust under any obligation to arbitrate: why should it submit to arbitration what has already been settled in its favor?


To import moral considerations into the matter is to make confusion. The trust is right legally, and all it has to do is insist that the law be carried out. On the other side are the miners, , strong.

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They have no rights in the mine at all — not even the right to work — for the mine owners are not bound to employ anyone. There is, in fact, no such thing as a right to work. It is a privilege that may be granted or withheld as the employer sees fit, and if no employer sees fit, there is no power in the State to make him do so.

If the opportunity to work is denied, the worker may go hang himself, for it is no part of the business of the State to see that he has work. Seeing this, the more intelligent of the workers have come to look elsewhere for help, and have joined with their fellow workers into unions.

These unions have never been legal.