Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Right to Organize

I wish I could have said it first but Harry Lundeberg at the Working Life blog beat me to it. He asks in the context of the current battle over the Employee Free Choice Act why no one seems to question the right of employers to form associations to represent their interests. Lundeberg observes:
And form them they absolutely do. Right off the top of my head I can think of several; National Association of Manufacturers, Business Roundtable, Chamber of Commerce, West Coast Wholesalers Coalition. The one thing they have in common is the desire to keep unions impotent or non-existent.

Wellstone Action has a couple of good educational links which explains the crucial relevance of the EFCA in today’s political and economic climate. This link explains how people can communicate with their peers about the EFCA. This link is a breakdown of the war over the EFCA, including common answers to myths and misconceptions about the EFCA.

Full disclosure: I work in a non-unionized industry and am not a union member. I am writing in support of the EFCA, therefore, not as a union member or organizer but as a concerned citizen who recognizes the lopsided balance of power between businesses and corporations and the workers who work for these entities—ordinary citizens.

If you ask me, much of the economic mess that this country finds itself in stems largely from the wide imbalance of power and representation between ordinary folks and elite and corporate entities in this so-called democratic system. In short, these entities have all the power and influence and ordinary people have almost nil.

If you are not a fan of unions, fine. If legislation like the EFCA is not your cup of tea, then that is also fine. I would like to ask you, however—other than the EFCA and unions, what other options do we as ordinary people have to organize and represent our interests? This isn’t a sarcastic question it’s a real one. What other than labor unions and union-friendly legislation that makes joining unions easier will work for you?

Realize that the business lobby is well-organized, has plenty of resources at its disposal and is very much ready and willing to fight for their interests. Ordinary people, other than labor unions, have no equivalent counterparts.

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