The capitalist vultures are wheeling low, but they’re finding slim pickings to choose from these days.
“No one wants to work!” The bosses whine about a worker shortage—though it’s one they brought about.
Eighteenth-century British economist Adam Smith noted how common it is to hear complaints about workers coming together to fight for their interests, and how rare it is to hear about all the scheming the bosses do to plunder workers’ labor.
Last week the United Electrical Workers (UE) published a new pamphlet, Them and Us Unionism, which argues that the labor movement needs to return to the class-struggle unionism that animated the founding of the industrial unions in the 1930s.
Across the globe, workers are taking action in the face of the coronavirus, pressuring employers to boost paid sick leave, suspend punitive attendance policies, and apply safety measures. While some companies have been proactive, too many have reacted only after workers forced them to.
There’s only one living member of Congress who’s ever been invited to speak at a Labor Notes Conference (or for that matter, subscribed to this magazine), and he’s currently leading the polls for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Then-Congressman Bernie Sanders opened the 1993 Labor Notes Conference with his proposed “Workers’ Bill of Rights” to raise the minimum wage, shorten working hours with no loss in pay, divert military spending to create civilian jobs, facilitate union organizing, and create a single-payer health care system.