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Sat Dec 15, 2012, 05:13 PM

The Real News: Why Couldn't Unions Defeat Michigan Anti-Union Bill?

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Response to geefloyd46 (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 06:04 PM

1. I wanted to hear Jane tell the Grover Norquest connection to which the business

interest are looking at the Unions... Many overlapping reason for the weakness of unions and how it was designed...

Which this interviewer could of kept silent until she finished this....

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Response to geefloyd46 (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 07:25 PM

2. I was reading "Then and Us", Matle and Higgins, labor organizers from the 20's

in the time before Wagner and other laws made it legal for them to organize. Back when police would shoot into crowds, beat and kill women and children, and then be praised in the media of the time...

Organizing, from 1870 until the NIRA was passed was quiet, underground, subversive, and had it not been done, especially the work the communists did, we would never have seen the things we laud FDR for. (A good portion of what was done was to co-opt and weaken the workers and the advances they had already made. Worked, too.) When the NIRA and the later Wagner act was passed, there were already thousands of people quietly organized in hundreds of shops, and it was their pressure, and that of those who gave their lives, that brought us those protections, not voting in a President.

This is from another source, the words of Bill Haywood - "The IWW advocates violence of the most violent sort. Violence that consists of keepin' our mouths shut, and our hands in our pockets. In doin' this and stayin' on strike we are committin' the most violent of acts. Cuttin' off our labor. Let them weave cloth with bayonets."

Matle writes about unions like the IWW and CIO, how they included everyone, not just highly skilled, not just whites, all sorts of nationalities, a union that was about the laborer, not about the union, Industrial Unionism, where it was about the struggle and not about conceding, how people would be fired w/o the federal protection we have today, and how the Business Unionists such as the AFL worked with capitalists against them. (Can you imagine union leaders being limited in salary to equal the highest paid worker they represent today? He pointed out to those who suggested that they needed to be as well-compensated as the executives they were negotiating with that their people had been across from those same business owners, and a lower salary NEVER impacted their ability to negotiate).

The story details some of the actions the AFL undertook to hurt other unions, their exclusivity with higher skilled workers, not letting black folk in, keeping immigrants out because they weren't as "able" as those who were already in charge. The story talks about what we might now call "bipartisanship", then termed "Business Unionism" bowing to the will of the capitalists, and the AFL efforts that helped break the steelworkers strike by the CIO and others in 1919, He talks about Gompers and how they bowed their head to the businesses interests.

Fighting for freedom often costs lives, and there are those who think that price is too high. It's safer to stay on one's knees.

Looking back from today, and reading these first-hand accounts of the people who stood next to friends who died trying to build something better, it's seems the "union", especially with Gompers beliefs and the AFL, (he was adamantly opposed to unemployment compensation), became about the union instead of the worker. That sapped the spirit, and thus the power, of what labor had won thus far and built the road traveled since. Some things have changed, and although the spirit is sort of there, they seem to be fighting for raises, not freedom. Maybe that has as much to do with it as mean people who don't want them to do things.

The book is out of print, but is in some university libraries. The "union" organizers today have it so much easier than they did in the 20's, and those voices which were long ago placed in the background give you the real skinny on what it's like to organize in a time when one is truly hated by the media, greedy capitalists, townspeople, and other unions. And maybe some clue as to how long a road, and how hard it might be to rebuild that spirit again.

Thank you for posting that.





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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 10:54 PM

3. Thanks for not spelling out your acronyms - it makes your post almost useless.

 

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:47 PM

4. Well, I'm tempted to suggest taking a couple Googles and reading this in the morning,




but...

NIRA -National Industrial Recovery Act.
FDR - Franklin Delano Roosevelt
IWW - International Workers of the World
CIO - Congress of Industrial Organizations
AFL - American Federation of Labor



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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 12:18 AM

5. It's just proper English that you were taught in eigth grade.

 

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 12:29 AM

6. Well, unlike others, I wasn't a lazy-assed student that wanted others to do my studying for me.



So perhaps I learned other things.

But different strokes, eh?

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 04:20 PM

7. Good Find! thanks for posting...nt

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