Sunday, November 2, 2014
NLRB Doesn't Work
Organizers of unions must look at new ways to organize new members for nothing stays the same and trying to do and use the same methods that no longer work is the definition of insanity. Organizers have depended on the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) laws to give workers the right to unionize and protect then, but using the NLRB as a fortress to protest will not work today. In any fortress there will sooner or later be destroyed either by being overrun or by just poking holes into it and making it no longer defensible without upgrades, like new, stronger laws. The NLRB is dying so organizers must change their tactics. The SEIU, between 1995 and 1999, unionized 74,000 home healthcare workers in Los Angeles. The labor movement will be in low wage employees working toward $15 to $18 an hour minimum wage plus benefits. The once powerful trade and industrial labor unions, which built the middle class, are no longer able to protect the interests of the American workers and this also is the same the world over. Just look at what is happening in places like the UK, Glasgow, Scotland, and Belfast Ireland. Then there are the bank workers in Auckland, New Zealand, all of these workers ae fighting to just keep or get a little more. They are always fighting a defensive action and cannot position themselves to go on the offense, which is exactly how the money people want it. This is why the $15 o $18 an hour is so important. It takes away the initiative of the money people. Case in point, organizers found it easier to increase the minimum wage to $15 for 100,000 of Seattle, Washington, workers than to unionize just 4,000 at the city’s airport. It looks at this time workers should be working the cities, counties, and state governments to pass voter initiatives that will give the agency the power to raise wages to $15 plus benefits. This is what the GOP has done by buying the state governments and passing laws to break unions. We, the workers, just need to do it one city, county at a time and one group at a time like taxi drivers, and inform domestic workers of their rights. SEIU’s David Rolf, a virtuoso organizer and mastermind of Seattle’s 15. He says labor needs new radical ways to champion workers interests. Rolf favored a metaphor for the role unions should play is that of a nurse log—a term used by forest ecologist. A nurse’s log on a recovering patient is a like a fallen tree that as it decays provides nourishment and protection to seedlings, some of which will grow to become new trees. That is our choice, he says. We can preserve the dying model or we can use the resources of our model to give birth to what replaces it. This is the best for low wageworkers and the nonunion workers. At this time, the trades and construction workers still have a chance to survive by putting their money in local elections and paying more organizers. If money is paid to elect a candidate, then the union has to hold that politician to the fire to ensure he/she fulfills their campaign promises, and if they don’t make them feel the heat—publically and financially.