Confessing my journey out of union skepticism
Great insights into current union trends, I had no idea. Also- great playlist!
Interesting question. Though "resurgence" (long overdue) is in the air, there remains a deep and yawning disconnect within the union movement between the professionalized, politically "wired-in" administrations of many unions and their shop-floor leadership and rank & file. It often seems as though those administrations are put and kept in place to control the movement, rather than grow it. My union has managed to carefully seal its leadership off from any bottom-up internal dissent whatsoever; while its top officials routinely hobnob with members of Congress and patrons of super-PACs. The problem is not merely that I cannot complain to them; but that I cannot talk to them at all.
Many people who work union in the US experience this, and think about it as they see these pushes in new economic sectors for union representation; and wonder if those folks are also trading one set of remote, unreachable "leaders" for another. The impetus to reform unions from within is rarely more than sporadic, as it means taking on two system fights instead of one. Most modern workers just don't have that time and energy, and the defenders of the systems know it.
Wow! You have done the work, Bob, and raised the key issues on the subject. Only a few additions. First Labor Day - so right about that - still fighting for safe working conditions and living wages. MLK and Veterans Days - we skirt the issues of endless wars where our service members don't belong and how the poorest among us are still Black, working class Americans. Now they are being replaced with illegal immigrants who will work for even less - works well for dubious employers.
Much union busting these days is coming from the white house or congress - railroad workers a great example. Every time I mentioned unions when I worked in the medical-industrial complex the skull & crossbones of socialism flag was waved. So not surprised the American people who are getting (imho) dumber by the day about most everything, don't know what to support - just their own skins mostly.
As for HR - enough said already but they really ought to in many cases take the human out of the H and replace it with something closer to their proscribed role in far too many companies. Hamstrung might work.
Finally, holy Pete Seeger experience - Yes - and the play list, my musical choices out for my walk have just been greatly enhanced. THANKS!