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Monday, July 23, 2012

Organized labor is in free fall

And that is not a good thing.  I am sure many of us have our pet gripe about this union or that, but the fact is that Unions have been good for the United States and, notwithstanding problems in the recent past, are still important for our workers (and thus the People) and the economy.  The headline showed up in The American Propect, here, but initially came from The New York Times, here.

Some may wish to say it is all about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  The would be a misleading assessment.  First, it spreads a focus on public service unions (folks in the civil service) to Unions in private enterprise.  Secondly it misses that Unions once more must reinvent themselves to the economic realities of the day.  This is not he 1930s, when my Father helped lead a strike at a steel mill in Johnstown, PA.  Got his picture, a group picture, on page two of the NYT, or so he told me.  Industry is different today and Unions need to adapt.  Maybe swing back from the CIO Model to the AFL Model.  I am not an economist of Unions, so my thoughts are mere speculation, but I do know we can't afford to lose the Union side of the equation.  See Pope Leo XIII and Rerum Novarum.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

the other cliff said...

Being a believer in a free market, I think the decline of unions is neither good nor bad, but is, instead, a response to market forces. Once they are striped of any monopoly power, either by law, the market itself, or their own success, they will disappear until such time a market conditions demand their return. Should companies try to take advantage of the dissappearance by making working conditions unsafe or overly burdensome, I would expect to see union numbers start to rise.