Those who depend on the kindness of corporations are the truly dependent
As news broke that the United Auto Workers’ effort to organize its first plant run by a foreign automaker in the South failed by 87 votes, conservatives celebrated.
They were celebrating how the scare tactics of Senator Bob Corker, who likely violated the Wagner Act, and other local Republicans denied the labor movement a significant victory. And they were celebrating a small but crucial victory what has been a half-century effort to destroy the labor movement with “a thousand paper cuts.”
The right’s obsessive drive to deny workers the right to collectively bargain underlies the driving economic belief: the boss rules.
And when the boss rules, workers pay — which is why the decline of unionization is directly related to the decline of the middle class’ economic power. Shrinking labor’s power has been a key factor both in the polarization of our economy, flooding wealth to the richest, and our politics, where the right wing prospers as labor’s power diminishes.
Many still misunderstand what Mitt Romney’s “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” jag was about — destroying the labor unions that helped build the middle class. The son of a former auto industry CEO, Romney never wanted the corporations to go away. He just didn’t want them to miss their change to break the back of the United Auto Workers.
If you want to see what the GOP nominee wanted the Big Three to become, check out Delphi Automotive, one of the Romney family’s investments. The once thriving supplier to automakers is now thriving again but without any union workers and massive outsourcing.
Michigan’s slight economic renewal is entirely the result of unions being able to negotiate on behalf of maintaining the good jobs that exist in the industry and truly drive our economy. A Romney administration would have extracted far more concessions than the considerable ones that were already granted and likely pushed until the weight of the economic disaster fell most fully on the workers.
The right objects to the idea that Obamacare will make workers more free to leave jobs or possibly even risk their jobs to organize. Its job creation efforts are entirely focused on easing the burdens on corporations, which in turn limits the options of workers. And it believes who’ve suffered most because of an economic crisis created by Wall Street should be insulted for their lack of ingenuity instead of helped back into the kind of decent life that was possible before the conservative movement’s war on labor made job security something that only exists in nostalgia.
We know what created America’s middle class. It came from workers taking risks to ask for their due. We knows what is destroying the middle class. Right wingers scaring workers into believing the little they have will be taken away if they ask for more.
Corker and the GOP went too far.
The Obama Administration intervened on behalf of workers in the auto rescue. Here’s hoping the National Labor Relations Board orders a new election so workers can make a decision that isn’t based on the kind of cheap intimidation that’s designed to make life easy for corporations and miserable for everyone else.