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( Public Sector Government Workers
taking over unions ) - What is the make up of unions these days? Below is a comparison. People still think of unions
as being made up primarily of production workers. The steelworkers are still considered to be a large segment of the CIO AFL
while over 700,000 steelworkers and related workers have lost their jobs with many of former steelworkers pensions now being
paid by the Federal Government due to so many steel companies going bankrupt. The U.S. has gone through the most massive dislocation
of jobs in its history while our government leaders and free traders still tell us it is a good thing.
of Labor Statistics 2005
1955: 33% of workforce in unions.
2055: 12.5% of workforce in unions.
1955: 5% of
union membership - Public Sector Workers (Government workers- local, county, state, teachers, firefighters, police etc. )
2005: 46% of union membeship - Public Sector Workers
1955: 50% of union members - Private Sector Manufacturing
2005: 15% of union members - Private Sector Manufacturing workers.
*(July 26, 2005) Service Employees International
Union and the Teamsters - 2.6 million members - withdraw from the AFL- CIO. This means the majority of union members in the
AFL-CIO are now Public Government Workers.)
- All workers, union and non-union, were better off when the unions were strong.
- Henry Ford said workers should be partners in business.
- Today workers have no voice in the process of Free Trade and Globalization.
-Corporations control the economic flow now. Governments follow their lead.
- Union leaders fed money to politicians as the way to promote their causes but politicians are now tied closely to corporations.
- Teddy Roosevelt said the main threat to America is corrupt politicians tied to corrupt businesses.
- Pope John Paul said - workers are not tools of Capitalism.
(nor are they tools of the state in non-Captialistic countries like China who control their economy directly. Globalism
is the new ism that combines all other isms economically)
- Rerum Novarum which was a major source for workers rights since 1890s maintains it is shameful to use men as things
for gain. Human beings as workers are the real commodities of so called Free Trade- the products are secondary. Free Trade
is based on moving production and factories from place to place based on the cheapest labor markets. Now the factories have
become portable. They do not stay in one place. If the workers get too strong fighting for their rights, the factories are
moved again. Free Trade is not based on trading products as it was throughout history.
Workers are put on a world trading block to compete down to the lowest common denominators of wage slave and even child
- Franklin Roosevelt said economic diseases are highly communicable. Today these diseases are an epidemic out of control
breeding terrorism and wars.
- International entities like the WTO control the flow of wealth through trade edicts outside any democratic process and
without the consent of the workers. Workers are the core of the global economy and have no voice in their destinies.
- As noted above, there is no longer a parity between private sector production workers and public sector government workers.
private sector jobs have been exported and outsourced. The public sector workers have yet to be affected and have not supported
the private workers through the most massive dislocation of workers in U.S. history.
- Still there is the public conception that unions caused the economic problems of our times even though they have had
very little power in the past twenty years.
- It also must be noted that the U.S. Government seeded the moving of factories outside the USA starting in 1956 and they
later supported and funded the Maqiladora factories in Mexico. Prior to the passing of NAFTA in 1994, 2000 U.S. factories
were already moved to Mexico. After the NAFTA trade agreement was passed this number quickly doubled to 4000 U.S. factories
being moved to Mexico. Did it help the Mexican economy? NO ! Soon after President Clinton led the way in passing NAFTA, he
had to rush billions of dollars to Mexico to save the Peso. A civil war also broke out by those in Mexico who were displaced
by Free Trade. It must also be noted that a Democrat controlled Congress passed NAFTA and GATT unfair trade agreements.
- The AFL-CIO kept supporting people like President Bill Clinton and Senator John Kerry. They led the way in passing
unfair trade agreements that betrayed workers.
- The academic community and the media were never in sync with the production world workers. Someone who worked in several
factories while going to college says there was a deep void between the college class room and the factory floors. The void
was obvious especially in the Business classes.
- It must be remmembers that it was the factory foremen who took the young off the streets and taught them a skill and
work disciplines. In turn the young made enough money to get married, buy a home, raise a family and send their children to
college. In most cases it took only one spouse in the family to achieve this. The greatest men of the last century were the
factory foremen and it was the U.S. awesome industrial might that won World War 2 and through the Marshall Plan help restore
local value added econmies in Europe and Asia.
Union membership isn't what it used to be....
From Cleveland Plain Dealers Letters by Paul Donovan
June 2002 and July 2005
(Paul Donovan and his family were active in the Steelworkers Union for many years. His father was a top union leader who
led the way in the 1930s. This letter is about the common misconception about unions.)
"In his May 24 letter, John Taylor says unions, not NAFTA, are costing U.S. jobs and NAFTA and GATT were an economic
Pearl Harbor attack on the American worker. Taylor ignores the fact that there is now almost a (12) year history following
the NAFTA and GATT trade agreements, and they show a total failure to provide decent-paying jobs.
During the 1990s temporary help, contract workers and part-time employment exploded. In the past, 40-hour jobs with
full benefits were primarily the jobs reported in any unemployment reporting. In teh 1990s, even a single mother making only
$100 a month was considered employed. Taylor also ignores the fact that the private - sector union workers are now about 15%
of the total. The public- workers unions now make up the majority.
Is Taylor suggesting that we bring in workers to replace firemen, teachers and other public workers? We could bring
in workers from China for about one-third the cost."
July 2005 by Paul Donovan
"Only a small percentage of union members are now private-sector production workers. The rest are public-sector
workers and service workers. The public-sector workers were never in accord with the private sector and they never really
supported the production workers while they were losing their jobs.
Now we have teachers, police, firefighters, and local and state government employees making twice as much as he people
they serve. Still, the union is associated with the Steelworkers who are virtually all gone.
This is an organization (CIO AFL) with more holed than Swiss cheese."
|Click: for Ray Tapajna Chronicles, online since
|1998 about Global, Free Trade and Job issues
Cleveland Plain Dealer July 2005 by Ray Tapajna
UNION MEMBERSHIP ISN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE
" The Teamsters' and service workers' withdrawal from the AFL-CIO is truly a historic happening. The United Sates
has gone through the most massive dislocation of jobs in history, while workers were told it is a good thing. Our federal
government seeded the moving of factories outside this country, while the AFL-CIO kept supporting people like President Bill
Clinton and Sen. John Kerry, who led the way in passing unfair trade agreements that betrayed workers.
Finally, the story if being told. While the AFL-CIO was considered to be the union of Steelworkers and other production
workers, the membership of these groups dwindled to only 15 percent of the total union population, with the public-sector
workers making up close to 50 percent.
Public workers never should have been part of the AFL-CIO. They are paid by the taxpayers. The taxpayers are their
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney came from the service and retail unions and was never in sync with the production workers.
He led the way in making contributions to politicians, tools of change that never worked.
With this defection, workers regain their identities.
NEA Teachers Union, AFL-CIO forge new alliance :
The nation's biggest independent union, the National Education Association is now part of the AFL-CIO joining it s rival
the American Federation of Teachers who have been part of the AFL-CIO for 90 years. The NEA adds 2.7 million teachers to the
9 million members of the AFL-CIO.
Still people challenged the AFL-CIO as if it is a production workers private sector union.
On top of this some public workers call out for support saying they are paying taxes to support communities. They miss
the point that the taxes are first paid by the private sector workers in order for them to get a pay check. And these private
sector jobs are being exported outside the USA. Who will be left to pay the taxes for teachers and othrs in the public sector?
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