Cynthia Strathmann: As rates of unionization have fallen, so has compensation. One might expect unions to be all the rage with anyone who ever put in a hard day’s work. But this is not always the case, particularly in the United States.
Wendy McElroy: Unions are dropping their enthusiasm for Obamacare. Some push for the new subsidies. Others bristle over the excise tax. Many protest the impact of health care cutbacks by employers who cannot afford to fully implement Obamacare.
Berry Craig: Peabody, Arch and Patriot Coal appear willing to stand by and do nothing as these brave miners and their spouses suffer and die from their work-caused illnesses and injuries without the health care these companies promised them.
Randy Shaw: Wealthy media chieftains love Thatcher for eliminating working class jobs, cutting funding for free school milk programs, and dramatically increasing income inequality; they define such actions as strength rather than immorality.
Victoria Defranceso Soto: Latinos aren’t the first group that comes to mind in a discussion about unions, especially with regards to a rust-belt state such as Michigan. But it turns out that Latinos are disproportionately affected, and not in a good way, by the diminishing strength of unions.
Vivian Rothstein: Most Long Beach hotel workers live, work and shop in the city. And if the hotel living wage passes, they’ll have more money to put into the Long Beach economy.
Shamus Cooke: If the Chicago teachers’ union — 26,000 members strong — goes on strike, many critical yet ignored political issues will go into the national spotlight, exposing nastiness that many politicians and labor leaders would like ignored until after the presidential elections.
Walter Brasch: It’s a time to honor the working class, and the unions that gave them the rights of collective bargaining. They may be struggling but they are far from dead.
Dave Zirin: The gloves will come off indeed. Let’s see if the workers, immigrants, and everyday people of the UK can take the punch and return in kind. If not, we’ll always have the Spice Girls.
Friday Feedback: This week, “Ryder” comment on David Love’s article, “These Low Information Voters Will Be Our Undoing,” which looks at how white working class voters have been led to vote against their economic interests through right-wing deception and appeals to racist impulses.
Walter Brasch: We can wave flags and tell everyone how much more patriotic we are than them, but we still can’t buy a minivan made in America by unionized workers—even when the price is lower than that of the non-unionized competition.
Peter Dreier: This year, in the wake of Occupy Wall Street and the rebirth of a national movement for social justice, a wide spectrum of activist groups will be out in the streets to give voice to the growing crusade for democracy and equality.
Shamus Cooke: In California, the unions agreed to a rotten compromise, which taxes the rich at a lower rate while including an increase in the state sales tax that disproportionally affects working and poor people.