Right-To-Work advocates have wet dreams about sweat shops in Bangladesh and work gangs in the antebellum South. Without organized labor there would be no 40-hour work week, there would be no lunch hours or bathroom breaks. If union members hadn't fought and died for what was right, there would be no over-time pay or pensions and 12-hour or 16-hour workdays, six days a week (because even workers need time to pray for deliverance) would be the norm. Without the American labor movement there would be no Ford Motor Company. Corporations, with the possible exception of Ford, have no problems with turning back the clock 200 years.
The right to work for a fair wage was considered such an important civil rights issue during the 1960s that one of the 10 demands of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a: “A national minimum wage act that will give all Americans a decent standard of living”. The amount they proposed was $2, which would be $15 in today’s money. Our federal minimum wage is currently only $7.25. But “right-to-work” laws---that half of all states in America fall under - do diddly squat to fix a minimum wage law that provides workers with less than a living wage. The misleadingly named law has nothing to do with any increased access to employment: it really only gives people the “right” to work in increasingly non-unionized, low-wage, split-shift jobs that may require hours of uncompensated time. “Right-to-work” laws remove the obligation on employees to pay union dues, while still requiring unions to represent the interests of workers who are not paying members. Wisconsin - once a labor stronghold - is the latest state to join the list of right-to-work states after Governor Scott Walker signed its bill into law last week. Proponents of right to-work frame their position as freedom for “America’s workers from the abuses of unionism”---an abuse only forced upon about 11% of workers in the United States. And while the list of things workers don’t like about their job seems to grow daily, the path to recourse for workers only grows smaller. According to the Wall Street Journal, right-to-work bills have weakened labor unions in states where they’ve appeared and have led to the suppression of wages. Examples of unfair labor practices abound as a result. Consider Amazon workers in Nevada, who sometimes spend 25 minutes per day to be searched by security as they leave their shift---but are not paid for that time.
Labor unions are the last bulwark in America between workers and capitalists. The dyke is full of holes and Republicans are punching more holes every day. I had hope that President Barack Hussein Obama would make good on his campaign promise to see Card Check become a reality, but that didn't happen. There is no help from the top, the bottom must do what must be done to prevent a roll-back of epic proportions. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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