The War on Unions and the Myths about Them

| by Jerome McCollom

There are many anti-union cliches out there. The cliche that workers can bargain with a company without a union is absurd.

How well can any employee bargain with a company employing thousands, let alone a company as giant as Wal Mart? Not at all, of course. The shareholders don't bargain with each employee, they hire people to do so, namely executives of the company.

The same goes with workers. Indeed, the U.S. nation is like a giant union. It's a group of people who have come together (or at least their ancestors did) to make decisions and choices. Could we bargain even with tiny Denmark as individual Americans? No, but as a nation we are powerful. The same with unions.

So I  was listening to talk radio on this recent Labor day and I heard right-wing talker after ringh-wing talker bash unions. It would be like listening to radio on July 4th and hearing AL Qaida bash the U.S. That on Labor day the only real voice on radio are those who hate organized labor, is a bit depressing.

I've never understood the average conservative or tea party member's opposition to unions. O.K., they don't like public unions, but it is also their opposition to private unions. Most of them are employees or workers. Most of them benefit with unions existing or being strong. It's like an athlete being against the idea of sports agents.

Or shareholders being against the idea of executives. Or polluters being against the idea of lawyers that represent them when they get caught polluting and get sued. Unions raise net wages throughout both union and non -union jobs.

Unions aren't always perfect, I will concede. They have to bargain though to ensure the long term health of the company and the vast majority of unions do this, and they are very open to new talks with companies in troubled economic times to ensure this. But without unions workers wages will be reduced to 19th century levels.

The idea that unions are obsolete is a myth furthered by those who hate organized labor and unions. It is a myth promoted by those who want workers to be happy with whatever the company will offer them. It is a myth by those who want to destroy the last bastion of financial well being of hard working workers in America.