March 25th, 2011

Some forgotten history of American workers


View the slide show of some historical moments in labor history not always included in the history books. How many today remember the abolition of the PATCO union? It’s been all downhill for American workers since then.

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 8:47 am and is filed under Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Unions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



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  1. TwilightZone says:

    Interesting that the 40-hour work week is supposed to be the standard set by our labor forebears, yet in the digital age employees put in lots of free overtime by taking their work home with them. There’s the perception they’ll move up or lose their jobs if they don’t work so much. The problem is there is only room at the top for a few and the quality of life erodes for the rest of us when workers are expected to do more and more for less compensation.

    The slides show that only a tragedy will spur people to demand better treatment from their employers. In the meantime, we’re like sitting frogs in boiling water.

  2. Jay Jacobus says:

    There are alternatives to unions. Patco was originally set up as a professional organization. In that regard they could have some control over the supply of air controllers, the rules that the controllers follow and professional credentials that are needed. By changing to a union they set the stage for the confrontation that came later.

    The teachers in a state could form a professional organization to increase their status and their positions.

    Lawyers, doctors, accountants and many other professions have organizations that have (at least) some power and usually garner respect for their professions. An individual who is accused, attacked or defamed might seek sanctuary with their organization.

    • J. says:

      There are professional organizations for university faculty members; however, the local chapters often determine the organization’s benefit to faculty. A weak local chapter will offer faculty very little. In universities where faculty members are frightened into silence, the local chapter may be mostly, or entirely, ineffective. Even at the national level, academic professional organizations have not had as much influence as it might seem they should have.

      • Jay Jacobus says:

        A professional organization, to be successful, needs to offer something important like certification. Besides that, if the members see the value of the organization, they can provide educational, lobbying, social, legal and economic benefits to its memebers.

        A group of members need to take charge and take advantage of the organization’s potential.

        Most important, however, is the necessity that the organization fulfills. If the organization doesn’t provide a required certification, then membership is not mandatory and may not attract many members.

        In the acedemic community, professors may seek membership in organizations that relate to their discipline. This means that there may not be a strong acedemic organization.

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