Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Unions Think Hari-Kari Won't Kill Them...All Unionized INDUSTRIES Are Rapidly Killing Off Labor's Gains

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Unions think the only thing is to keep older members happy, not fighting the Free Trade Death Machine. Clinton betrayed the unions and they betrayed him. Now, no one wants to help unions, not even they, themselves, it seems. No one wants to lead the charge and talk about international worker's alliances like pre-WWI labor organizers recognized as a life and death issue.

From the Chicago Tribune:
This underworld is now the reality, or a disheartening look into the near future, for thousands of workers as the industrial Midwest undergoes the most wrenching economic transformation since the bad old Rust Belt days of the 1970s.

With the forces of globalization leading companies to slash costs, move out of the country or go under, workers who don't bring a clear competitive advantage to work every day are vulnerable to having their pay cut.

At this moment the risk is clearest in the auto parts industry, where Delphi Corp. has filed for bankruptcy court protection, and its chairman, Robert "Steve" Miller, has threatened to cut wages from $27 an hour to as low as $9.50.

But look at any number of industries where American factory hands are competing against the Chinese or the Cambodians, whether in textiles or furniture or appliances, and the fallout is the same: The standard of living for the Americans slips.

"For the United States, it's the end of labor as we once knew it," Stephen Roach, chief economist at Morgan Stanley, wrote recently.
This is a most excellent article. A must-read. It is all so pathetic, too. Reading about all these atomized, small people, desperately trying to cling to the sides of the various liferafts being launched off the sinking American Economic Titanic! And those inside the rafts, beating them off with the oars, fellow workers, hoping to row at least their own carcasses to that far shore, damn everyone else.
A version of this new reality is taking place in Decatur, where Caterpillar Inc. introduced hundreds of new hires last year. Job creation was the good news. The bad news: Starting wages were cut to $10 an hour from $20.

The result is that Caterpillar and Decatur have become a laboratory of sorts for witnessing the impact of wage cuts. Working and living side by side are Caterpillar employees doing the same kind of work for different wages. The lucky ones are paid according to the old scale.
Classic divide and conquer. The "lucky" workers are set in a conspiracy against the newer, more servile, more helpless, workers. Instead of uniting across the globe, we can't even unite within the same work stations.

Workers are trained in America to not blab about pay. Everyone hides their pay stubs from each other as they try to sneak bids past the others, making themselves valuable at the expense of all the others. This is a dog-eat-dog style of capitalism, the kind the bosses love. It is hell for workers. This is why, in old days, workers playing this game were quietly punished by either falling into boiling metal vats or being accidentally run over or other unfortunate "accidents" or failing that, shot dead at home.

For it was a war, a full scale war, fighting for union rights. Every OSHA rule, every union contract was stained with blood. The entire history of labor organizing has been the chronicle of one raging battle after another. Then, most unions won, thanks to the Democrats. We had a brief time of plenty and happiness.

Now, it is near full nightime, the wolves are howling at the door and the remains of the labor movement lean against it to keep the wolf out and yelling, "Eat my weaker co-workers!"

This disgusts me.
Smith doesn't talk about his lifestyle with new hires at work because "I try not to rub their noses in it." He is a reserved person, but he has no hesitation in sharing his thoughts on what's happened at factories like his.
See? He is a privilaged worker, a pet of the boss, he is bitter about this but instead of doing something, he ducks out the door and after licking the bosses' boots, he runs back to his pretty kennel to entertain himself and not think about what is going to happen to his children, all of whom are going to college, hoping to escape the funnel that is sucking down wages across the entire spectrum.

80% of the employed this year lost ground as wages fall behind inflation.

From Seattle PI:
One short test drive and Army Spc. Todd Strange is gushing "Oh, sweet! I love it!"

He's been home from Iraq a little over 30 hours and already he's trading in his little 2001 Dodge Neon for a muscle car - a 2006 Mustang GT, V-8 engine, price tag $26,320.

"I'm buying the car to show off, pretty much," admits Strange, 26, of St. Louis.

Business has been booming in this southeast Georgia town since just after Christmas when thousands of 3rd Infantry Division troops from neighboring Fort Stewart began returning from a yearlong tour in Iraq and finding their bank accounts flush with combat pay, tax breaks and bonuses.
Just like with Nazi Germany, if workers play Russian Roulette, the survivors who don't lose arms, legs or their sanity can go on big shopping sprees when they come home! The public purse is open to them and to only them.

All other workers get steadily stripped of whatever they earn. And the more we indulge our soldiers, the worse all the other things will be. This very expensive war is what is partially fueling record red ink, all of which has to be paid for by allowing our creditors destroy the shredded remains of our industrial base. Sweet, isn't it?

This is a Haloscan patch repair job, the comments work on any new postings but not on this one. Thank you for being patient.
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