Monday, February 28, 2011

The Union Label

It has been encouraging to see so many protesters out in Madison and other cities around the country. It indicates to me that more and more people are coming to understand the vital role unions play in providing economic benefit to the vast majority. Still, it is disheartening to know that a lot wage slaves still don't get it; they view unions with scorn and disdain.

In many ways, the big unions only have themselves to blame. It is not uncommon at all for the union big wigs to schmooze with and behave like the managers and/or owners they spend far more time with than their own rank-and-file members. It is not uncommon at all to hear or read about fiscal corruption of some of this nation's major union organizations.

It has been quite irritating that every two years the big-time unions throw all of their muscle behind Democratic Party candidates who, upon election, too often promote or support a wide variety of anti-union measures. Union spokespeople decry the fact that the candidates the unions helped to get elected treat those same unions as pariahs once they are securely in office. Yet, two years later, they act as if they've learned nothing from the preceding 2 years!

And it is not uncommon at all to learn that many in union leadership utilize some questionable democratic policies and strategies to subvert the will of the majority of their members.

Therefore, while I am happy to see more progressives rally around the public sector unions presently under attack, I concurrently hope that union leaders and activists don't squander the support they are receiving. It is high time for unions to reinvent themselves so that they stress greater democracy and transparency.

If they don't, the support now will be short-lived and more working class folks will turn away from them and may well applaud future efforts to tear them down.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.