Republicans, unions — December 8, 2012 at 9:25 am

How do you get record high corporate profits and record low wages? Easy. Bust unions.


This is about making your work worth less

Destroying union power is a macro version of the GOP’s War on Voting. Can’t win people with your ideas? Stop them from voting. Relying on a increasingly small group of the richest 1 percent to fund your campaigns? Destroy the groups that bring workers together to fund a permanent progressive movement.

But destroying unions isn’t just politically advantageous for the GOP. It also makes corporations more profitable by driving down workers’ bargaining power.

How else do you get soaring corporate profits and record low wages? This is what plutocrats like the Koch brothers call a “win-win.”

(BTW: Did you sign this petition opposing the Michigan GOP’s union busting yet?)

Take a look at this chart from the Economic Policy Institute tracking the decline in union membership.

Notice how it nearly tracks — with the exceptions of the dot com bubble of the 90s and the real estate bubble of the 00s — with the decline in seasonal adjusted wages as a share of Gross Domestic Product?

You should know by now that workers in states that have passed laws that ban automatic union dues collection earn $1,500/year less than workers in union-friendly states. That’s not just union workers who earn more when union workplaces are protected — it’s every worker in the state.

All workers earn more when just a fraction of the state is allowed to organize and bargain for fairer wages and benefits.

Democrats may look at the 2012 election where Mitt Romney lost the state by about 10 points and think that the Michigan GOP has gone loopy in pursuit of their far right agenda. But the GOP looks at the defeat of the collective bargaining amendment on the ballot along with the ironclad gerrymandering they put in place after the 2010 election and decided that now was the time to appeal to the folks who pay their bills.

But you can’t gerrymander the governor’s seat.

Rick Snyder is expecting the 2014 election to look like 2010.  But I’m glad to see leaders like Gretchen Whitmer are starting organizing now to take on a party that is appealing to too few in a way that will cost all of Michigan’s workers.

Because if the lesson here is that you can take on the middle class and win in Michigan, what will that mean for the rest of the country?

  • chad johnson

    Also less regulations on wall street and the power of the lobbyists help corporate America and hurt the real American workers. Good blog by the way.

  • Ken Hughes

    Obamanomics is insane

    • So tell us how it should be done…………………. we’re listening.

    • 1) Give unlimited power to a bunch of corrupt old fucks.
      2) ????

  • The lone libertarian

    Friday I heard a story of a company who tried to out source a product. The union said “no you cant take away our jobs”. So the company said okay great we will do it in house. The union said “That product requires us to monitor it to much for QA and we don’t want that responsibility”. Unions destroy companies. If you don’t like your work conditions then get a new damn job.

    • “Heard a story”… I’m sure this is *exactly* what happened… [eyeroll]

    • You so dumb Lone Libertarian.
      I think the reason you’re lone(ly) is that you make shit up and expect people to believe it.

    • ChelsieSutherland

      What is the company, in what state/city, and what union was involved? Where are the actual news articles? Where are first-hand accounts from workers in that company? Provide links and facts to any of those questions, and then we can start a discussion.

  • TobySaunders

    I think you meant, “You should know by now that workers in states that have passed laws that ban automatic union dues collection earn $1500 less *than* workers in union-friendly states.”

    • Thanks for the catch. I’ve made the correction.

    • Average Joe

      Maybe so, but you conveniently forget that they don’t have to pay expensive union dues either. Please Don’t pee down someone’s back and tell them its raining.

      • Hey joe! how’s it feel to gobble corporate cock while they take away your future.
        It’s almost like you’re prostituting yourself voluntarily to a bunch of rich old dudes in the hopes that they’ll let you into their club.
        I’ll give you a hint, they won’t.

        • maf wiz

          You’re answer is funnier, but worth mentioning the average annual dues are $400, which last time I checked was still less than $1500.

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  • Average Joe

    You fools don’t seem to get the point. It’s all about freedom of choice. To choose a union of you want or don’t want to. You people are just hypocrites.

  • texzen123

    The formula for running your own company and even MAKING a profit is busting unions.. good for them :)

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  • veight

    91 million unemployed/underemployed many of whom would rush into any job they can might have just a little force on wages. Many people available and less jobs to go around. Simple supply and demand. Get higher wages by creating more jobs sucking up the available workforce. Stop regulating and taxing small entrepreneurs so much they can’t get new business off the ground, let them get us back to being competitive in the world market and put people back to work and see what happens. Unions must stop being anti-small business and embrace the potential they offer. It would be better for all including unions.

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