Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Unions Use Families, Retirees in the Fight
Can labor mobilize our union families like they did in the 1920s, ‘30s ‘40s and ‘50s? If this could be done our union labor activists could be three to four times in numbers larger than the one person paying dues. If labor could mobilize our retired members there would be thousands more activists who could be recruiting or promoting unions and the fight against wage inequality of the non-union low wage slaves. Families and retirees are a valuable resource not being utilized by the unions. For example, my wife was shopping in a large retail store and, in retaliation for raising the minimum wage in California; the store had only a few checkout lanes open. The excuse was that the store “had” to lay-off employees due to the increase. As customers became irritated and began to voice their dissatisfaction, some began to blame the miniscule wage hike, but my wife spoke up, informing people that had wages kept up with inflation, minimum wage would be much higher than $9 or $10 and asked the people to consider how much profits do corporations really needs and why chief executive officers (CEO) are making 345 times more than the people doing the job and why their board of directors are more concerned about profits than the well-being of its employees and the country as a whole. Who are the greedy, the poor working person barely getting by or the corporations? People admitted they hadn’t heard of or considered such questions and didn’t know that it used to be CEO only made about 12 percent more than the workers. If unions could prove themselves as supporters of low wage fast food or big box store workers then maybe union labors could win the support of millions of more wage slaves and then labor would have a formidable army. With this, labor could put the anti-labor, anti-union people on the defense by attacking all low-wage paying corporations. Now is the time to go on the offensive as the anti-union GOP factions (conservatives, Tea Party extremists and normal Republicans) are in disarray. The Art of War says to use discord to your advantage and what’s happening now in the GOP is the perfect time to attack and strike against the anti-worker ideology, which is prevailing in some 27 states with right to work laws promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (A.L.E.C.) members financially backed by people like the Koch brothers. This strategy or goal of using families and retirees could be tried state by state and county by county and city by city nationwide or even worldwide. We would need to educate our people on the “whys,” and “hows,” for we must know ourselves as well as our enemy in order to win, as the Art of War points out. Some of labor’s enemies are A.L.E.C., chamber of commerce, Manufacturers Associations, Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and most all GOP members and their ideology. Union members should remember or know that paying dues is just a very small part of being a union person and that just because unions hire or elect a few people to administer to negotiate contracts and organize there is no way they can defend or enlarge our unions without help today when we are being attacked on so many fronts with so many different angles, like right to work and trying to stripe the National Labor Relations Board. This is the workers fight and all proletarians worldwide are in it whether they realize it or not.