Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unions Should Control Pensions/Healthcare

Wages and safety should be the owners’ responsibility: pension, healthcare, and seniority on the job should be the unions’ responsibility. If unions had the responsibilities of pensions and healthcare and a union member has to move to another area, their pension and healthcare follows them. With this scenario the power shifts to the member and union and not to the corporation or government entity. If the corporations or government control the pensions and healthcare, this gives them a wedge issue to use to split the single workers and family members or the new workers against the workers about to retire. If all unions, like the Building Trades, took control of their pensions and healthcare (healthcare might not be the issue now that it once was) it would take away the talking points about how unions are responsible for bankrupting companies and government entities with huge pensions, which nonunion workers don’t have. It is the pensions and healthcare that is used to turn public opinion against unions and is what wins the elections for right to work state laws, which kills unions. You cannot be in partnership with your capitalist enemy and win. You must always stay an arm’s length away to have a clean vision of what is happening—the old forest for the trees thing. The big win for the wage slaves at this time s to win the $15 to $16 an hour fight. They then should start their pension and healthcare plan fight. The timing is right for this fight and those fighting can use the Building Trades model. The wage slaves need to understand that the very things they are being denied are freely given to the executive officers, who do little of the true work.