Sunday, July 7, 2013

Labor Laws, For and Against

Most all labor laws that were passed to enhance labor are now a deterrent to labor, such as the National Labor Relations Act, National Labor Relations Board, no strike contracts, successorship laws, and arbitration. These were the laws that were supposed to help labor, which have now been gutted. Then there were the anti-labor laws and amendments, such as Taft-Hartley Act, which labor referred to the Slave Labor Act, and MacKay Doctrine (MacKay Radio Decision),. Most all labor laws passed for labor or against labor was about the worker being able to strike. In 1947, 230 bills were introduced in Congress and state legislatures all to gut labor and to curb union power. Congress passed the Landrum-Griffin Act in 1959 prohibited hot cargo agreements, where union workers would not handle nonunion goods for solidarity strikes, which benefitted industry-wide strikes, which far exceed a strike on just one company. The law unions’ fear most is the provision that authorizes law suits against unions. Taft-Hartley Act, Section 301, can bankrupt unions. So what can be done? Well, all wage slaves can look to the 13th Amendment to justify their right to strike, passed after the Civil War, known in the middle of the 20th century as the Glorious Labor Amendment. It sustained workers’ rights in much the same way that they 2nd Amendment supports gun rights today. The right to strike was one of the liberties that distinguished the free workers from the slaves. Only by organizing can workers rise above servitude and, in order to do this, workers have to stop production and the best way to that is with the strike (withholding their labor). Remember the Chilean labor song: El Pueblo Unido Jama' Sera Vencido (The people united will never be defeated). “You can hang together or you can hang alone.” We, the unions, who are afraid to go against the large corporations for fear of being sued and going bankrupt because we have acquired assets. Then these unions should support new unions who have nothing, no assets or established leadership, who could be sued. They then use the old tired and true militant tactics, like the Wobblies, who by the way organized Starbucks. Now we need to keep after fast food workers, auto lube and car washes, shopping walls, Walmart and unions need to help fund the fight. Solidarity forever.