Sunday, September 02, 2007

Happy Labor day! Unions fight for better working environments.

....says the worker just finishing up an 80 hour week. Self induced though. Cha-ching! $1.200 in OT. Benefits of being UNION! U.S. DOL - The History of Labor Day

And since we are celebrating Labor Day, let us recognize organized Labor as the reason for the 40 hour work week, improvement in working conditions safety and environment wise, and the right to bargain with an employer over wages and benefits. UNITED WE BARGAIN, DIVIDED WE BEG! Union workers earn 30% more than non-union workers in wages and benefits. In a union house it is equal pay for equal work The over all average in pay for women is 77 cents to the dollar compared to males. This is up from 59 cents to the dollar 25 years ago. We are making progress, but in a union house equality is all ready in place.

Locally in the early 80's, there were over 800 union workers on the Samoa Peninsula. Now there are 150. Restaurants and bars were union and we were given information on which establishments were "union friendly."

We seem to lag lately in Humboldt County in organizing and educating our workforce of the benefits of working union. Is it because our new generation is more mobile and do not want to be stuck on any job for more than a few years? Has our culture changed? My focus while raising a family was security. Isn't that part of a family raising equation?

There also seems to be an Independent uprising of young workers who do not feel the need to be a part of a "union" of workers and feel they can fend for themselves. I have witnessed this trend in different west coast areas where I tried to organize workers.

I wonder where our young workforce is headed. I hope they will realize the only hope for fair treatment is through organizing. Or good luck.

7 comments:

The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

I have watched over the years how the Unions have had to endure the changing patterns of the workforce. My friends father worker for Pac-Bell/SBC/ATT for over 35 years. Fewer people are doing that anymore. I honestly beagan to think that Unions were on the way out. However, they continue to endure despite attempt by many corporate leaders to weaken them.

mresquan said...

But most of the bigger unions have just essentially merged with corporate interests.In many cases within many industries,the unions help the corporate policy of wage slavery.Join our local IWW group,one of the only unions to truly have interest in employee wellbeing.

Anonymous said...

The Wobblies appeal to earnest young people with good intentions. They always have. When they have a little more experience, almost all young Wobs gravitate to unions with a stronger record of real-world successes for their members.

Anonymous said...

No matter what corporations or wealthy individuals may want, unions will never die. The tendency of the haves to put unfair pressure on the have-nots is a guarantee of that. People will always demand to be treated fairly and with dignity. To make management change their ways, organizing a union is often the only remedy.

samoasoftball said...

If workers want an equal playing field against Corporate America, they need to organize.

Not all companies need to be union. The ones that treat workers right and give them a voice in the workplace and pay a living wage, they are the ones that are not union and won't ever be. (Been there done that. My version Seen that won't be able to do that.) Nestle Ice Cream comes to mind in the South Valley.

Shane said...

The IWW is great, but not very successful. It's more like training wheels for union activists. It needs to exist, but it will never be "one BIG union." Busy working adults want to be represented by organizations with experienced teams of organizers, negotiators, and labor lawyers that can cause real trouble for companies. The IWW causes ideological trouble, which is great, but at the end of the day, you need to put dinner on the table, and the bigger unions are the ones that can deliver.

samoasoftball said...

Shane: Yes. In a nut shell you have said the truth. Now go educate a 100 million man workforce that needs that education here stateside!