Social Science - Other

The Necessity of Unions Understanding Labor History in Light of Globalization

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"The Necessity of Unions Understanding Labor History in Light of Globalization"
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Does anyone have a clue anymore as to why Unions came about, or has Republican propaganda been that good and brainwashed two entire generations?

Brief history lesson, and opinion. Unions came about because of the abuses of big businesses, and how they exploited workers. Before Unions there were no company health plans, they were no laws concerning wrongful firings, there were no laws concerning fair practices and compensation. It got so bad that workers in certain industries, because of policies that said they had to live in and pay for company housing, and buy only from the company store, ended up more in debt at the end of the work week then if they hadn't worked at all.

Writers may not have faced abuse to that extend, but in the bad old days they and their work was owned by a few powerful individuals who paid what they wished, when they wished, leaving little or no recourse to the writer.

Unions evolved because people got sick and tired of business using people as raw materials, and then disposing of them when their usefulness was done (Child labor was a pre-Union practice). Unions use the only tool they have, the workers themselves, to strike a balance of power between labor and bosses. Industries are entitled to a fair profit, but not at the cost of negating a worker's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Do some research on what life in America was like prior to Unions. Read about how many workers died, or were permanently crippled or made ill, or lost title and ownership of their work, or who lost their ability to leave a job they wanted to leave, or lost their entire pay to ruthless company policies, or were killed outright when they protested their condition.

So if you want to believe the propaganda put forward by those with money who want to keep it, feel free. You can join the other chuckleheads out there who believe in things like: "We have to run government like a business." But the bottom line is that Unions are the workers only protecting from the abusive and degrading practices businesses have, and would, put into practice if unchecked.

You want to stand up and say businesses have a right to exploit workers, to strip them of their right to be compensated fairly for their labor? Fine, then stand up and say it. Don't hide behind mindless platitudes you've been spoon-fed by industry lobbyists and their conservative friends.

More about this author: Rob O'Hannon

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