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Youth Brigade, Week 4  From Class War to Bargaining Tables  What Should Unions Do?  Business Unionism or Social Unionism…Choices!  Civil Rights, Immigration…Choices!

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Presentation on theme: "Youth Brigade, Week 4  From Class War to Bargaining Tables  What Should Unions Do?  Business Unionism or Social Unionism…Choices!  Civil Rights, Immigration…Choices!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Youth Brigade, Week 4  From Class War to Bargaining Tables  What Should Unions Do?  Business Unionism or Social Unionism…Choices!  Civil Rights, Immigration…Choices!  Field Trip: Bronx Museum of Art  Web: Web:  Click on Courses, then Youth Brigade  Scavenger Hunt  If you’re doing it, you must hand it in with at least three answers to the coordinators on the last Thursday of the brigade

2 Organizing Unions  Decision to organize labor into union brings many, many questions…  Who should be in the union? All workers? Only some races? Native workers and Immigrants? Only men?  What should the union demand?  Who should they demand it from? Employers or government?

3 Solidarity  Solidarity  Community of feelings, purposes, etc.  Community of responsibilities and interests.  Different unions…different ideas about solidarity

4 Wagner Act  Wagner Act or National Labor Relations Act(1935)  a federal law that among other things guaranteed workers the right to organize unions, join unions and collectively bargain.  Turning point in American History  A conscious effort to strengthen unionism by Federal Government Still the framework we operate under

5 CIO, Solidarity and Industrial Unions  Industrial Unionism  membership composed primarily of semi-skilled or unskilled workers who are organized on the basis of the product they produce  No exclusion based on race, gender, immigration status  Trying to turn poverty wages to middle class wages…

6 Solidarity & Courage Lead to Victory

7 CIO like a “crusade”  CIO Activity Pushes AFL to organize too  Union Density increases rapidly…By 1950s…1 out of 3 workers is in a union

8 Unions Concentrated in Key Industries  By 1946, Core of Economy almost completely union  % unionized  Aircraft, Aluminum, Auto, Breweries, Clothing, Electrical Machinery, Meat packing, Rubber, Shipbuilding Steel, Coal, Construction, Long shoring, Trucking  Will have spill over effect to non-union sector  Fear of unionization will prompt better wages, hours, and working conditions

9 Within short order, there are dozens of unions representing millions and millions of workers

10 Many Unions representing millions of workers… O.K…NOW WHAT  What should these organizations do? What should they demand and fight for? Who should they demand it from?  Put another way…what do you want from life? Are there things unions can do to help you get these things?

11 Many Unions representing millions of workers… NOW WHAT?  What should these organizations do? What should they demand? Who should they demand it from?  Think about work. What kinds of things make a job a good job? What do you want from your job?  Think about your neighborhoods and communities. What kind of things make a neighborhood nice?  Put another way…what do you want from life? Are there things unions can do to help you get it?

12 What Should Unions Do? More Choices  All Unions will fight for contracts that deliver better wages, benefits, hours and working conditions from Employers  Some Unions will go beyond the contract and fight for Government Policies that help all workers  A broader conception of solidarity  Laws regarding minimum wages, living wages, overtime, safety regulations  Government action on a range of other things Civil Rights, Immigration Reform, Affordable Housing, Social Security etc.

13 All Unions Bargain with Employers for Better Wages: Share the Profits  “Treaty of Detroit” between corporations and unions tied wages to productivity  Translation:  1947 Joe Union guy produced 100 widgets a day and was paid $100  1975 Joe Union guy produced 200 widgets a day and was paid $200

14 All Unions Bargain with Employers for Better Wages: Share the Profits  From poverty wages to high wages…

15 All Unions Bargain with Employers for Better Wages: Share the Profits

16 All Unions Bargain with Employers for Better Wages: “Great Compression”

17 If workers get more…someone gets less…Unions reduce inequality YearPct. Held by Top 1% of Households

18 Unions Also End Up Bargaining for Benefits from Employer  Health Care  Dental Care  Pensions  Note that these come from the employer, not the government…  In most other advanced industrial capitalist nations, unions demanded & won these benefits from government  How might this end up being a problem for American companies like GM or Ford?

19 Choices by Management in the 1940s Create Problems 50 Years Later  Detroit's carmakers have been under siege from foreign competition, which have lower costs in their factories…U.S. Health- care costs have sapped $1,400 from the profit of any vehicle (Business Week, 9/07)  Toyota's health care costs are so negligible that they aren't even a line item in the company's financial statements. Toyota benefits both from the Japanese national health plan's coverage of retirees' medical needs and from the way that plan is structured (autoweek.com) ttp://www.autoweek.com/article/ /FREE/ #ixzz0v6sGTzPg ttp://www.autoweek.com/article/ /FREE/ #ixzz0v6sGTzPg

20 Wages and Benefits  These benefits set standard throughout economy for union and union-union companies  “The unions role in developing this system…was central. By the early 1970s, pensions, health insurance, and the like had become so commonplace that millions of Americans took these hard-won benefits for granted. Few remembered the generations of militancy that paved the way …”(Zieger, p.153)

21 American Unions Excel at Business Unionism  Business unionism  using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of members who belong to a particular union. Focus is on bread-and-butter issues  Deliver Better Wages, Hours and Benefits to members  Workplace governance system that provides for dignity at work…  What about things that can’t be addressed in a contract…things like discrimination and civil rights? Immigration? Affordable housing? What about improving the lives of people who are not in unions?

22 Choices  You’re a proud member of Local 1 of the International Union of Youth Brigaders. The IBYB has bargained a contract that provides you with good wages, fair hours and safe working conditions. You come to work each day knowing that you will be treated with respect and dignity by your boss. At your last union meeting, an issue was raised that you’re not sure about.  Jill motioned that your union give money and organizational support to the effort to pass the Fair Labor Standards Act. This act would legally mandate a minimum wage and an 8 hour day. Joe stood up and said that IBYB had already bargained for an 8 hour day and a wage well above the poverty line. The union had no business using dues money to support political movements that would primarily benefit people who were not in the union. There was spirited debate, and the issue was tabled until next month. How will you vote? Why? What are the pros and cons of each position?

23 Fair Labor Standards Act  AFL Business Unionism  using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of members who belong to a particular union.  CIO Social Unionism  a form of unionism that focuses on using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of union members WHILE also engaging in campaigns that will improve the conditions of the working class a whole.  Unions try to craft and advance a broader set of goals…above and beyond contractual matters

24 Social Unionism Works Beyond the Contract  …workers and Labor Union members have many problems affecting their lives in addition to wages, hours and working conditions, and related matters involving the employer. These are the wide range of the citizen in the community. The CIO Council becomes the voice of the Labor movement about housing, public and personal health, child care, education, public and private welfare, city and community planning, recreating, and a large number of things which are the concern of the worker as citizen where he lives.  - Ted Silvey, CIO Leader, 1948

25 Marching on Washington…1941  A. Philip Randolph, President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, President of the Negro American Labor Council, and Vice President of the AFL-CIO A. Philip Randolph  In 1941 he threatened to march 100,000 on Washington unless President Roosevelt prohibited discrimination in defense industries and the military  FDR caved on industry…not on military

26 March on Washington…1963  A huge march on Washington is organized to challenge discrimination  Many remember Dr. King’s “I have a dream speech”…few know that Randolph initiated the march  Even fewer know the demands of the march? What did the marchers want?

27 Of the 10 Demands of the March on Washington…4 were economic  1. Comprehensive and effective civil rights legislation from the present Congress — without compromise or fillibuster — to guarantee all Americans: Access to all public accommodations Decent housing Adequate and integrated education The right to vote  7. A massive federal program to train and place all unemployed workers — Negro and white — on meaningful and dignified jobs at decent wages.  8. A national minimum wage act that will give all Americans a decent standard of living. (Government surveys show that anything less than $2.00 an hour fails to do this.) [The minimum wage at the time of the march is $1.15/hour.]  9. A broadened Fair Labor Standards Act to include all areas of employment which are presently excluded.  10. A federal Fair Employment Practices Act barring discrimination by federal, state, and municipal governments, and by employers, contractors, employment agencies, and trade unions.

28 Choices  You’re a proud member of Local 1 of the International Union of Youth Brigaders. The IBYB has bargained a contract that provides you with good wages, fair hours and safe working conditions. You come to work each day knowing that you will be treated with respect and dignity by your boss. At your last union meeting, an issue was raised that you’re not sure about.  Jane motioned that your union give money and organizational support to the civil rights movement’s march on Washington. Joe stood up and said that while he supported the civil rights movement, not all IBYB members did, and the union had no business using dues money to get involved in such matters since they had nothing to do with the IBYB contract. There was spirited debate, and the issue was tabled until next month. How will you vote? Why? What are the pros and cons of each position?

29 AFL-CIO and Civil Rights  AFL-CIO would not endorse the 1963 March on Washington  Supported civil rights but viewed issue as peripheral to collective bargaining  No $ or bodies provided  Didn’t open HQ to tired thirsty protestors  Some AFL-CIO unions endorsed the march  Sent $ and bodies  Note Reuther of the UAW

30 Another Type of Unionism  a form of unionism that focuses on using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of members who belong to a particular union WHILE also aggressively engaging in campaigns that will improve the conditions of the working class a whole.  using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of members who belong to a particular union.  Focus on bread-and- butter issues of a segment of the working class.

31 Unions and Immigration

32 The Song Remains the Same  Deciding how many immigrants to let into a nation has always been a controversial matter  ““Why should the Palatine (German) boors be suffered to swarm into our settlements, and,by herding together, establish their language and manners, to the exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us, instead of our Anglifying them…” – Benjamin Franklin, 1751  Change German to Irish, Italian or Mexican, and you have the debate in 1850, 1920 and 2010

33 Foreign Born People in America at Record High…Kind of…

34 Long Hiatus from Immigration…  Immigration Declines Sharply

35 Recent Increase  Immigration Up Sharply

36 Different Types of Immigrants

37 What Do they Do…Not simply that they do work “Americans won’t do”

38 Immigration/Illegal immigration …Who Benefits and Who is threatened…  Who Benefits?  Immigrants…gain opportunity  Employers…gain labor or cheaper labor  Consumers…gain through lower prices  General Pro Immigrant groups…the American way to provide opportunity and hope to downtrodden  Who suffers or is threatened?  “Native” workers…more competition in labor market leading to displacement or lower wages From Black dockworkers to Microsoft Engineers to Janitors  Native Residents who fear newcomers will “ruin” America

39  You are president of IBYB Local 1. You represent janitors. Many of these janitors are new immigrants. Many are Native born African Americans and European Americans. Do you get involved in the politics of immigration?  If yes, why and what do you demand?  If no, why?

40 Change to Win/AFL CIO Program  Provide a Workable Path to Legalization for Undocumented Workers  Undocumented workers who have established themselves should be able to earn legal status and citizenship if they work, pay taxes, learn English, undergo background checks, and pay a fine.  Protect the Wages and Working Conditions of All Workers  All undocumented workers should have the same labor, employment, and civil rights protections that U.S. citizens enjoy, otherwise discrimination and exploitation are inevitable.  All undocumented workers should have the right to organize into a union and to receive back pay for being illegally fired; the right to fair and prevailing wages; the right to a safe and healthy worksite; and whistleblower protections that protect them from employer retaliation.  Hold Employers Accountable for Seeking to Exploit Undocumented Workers  A strong employment verification system is needed that is accurate and efficient, contains sufficient due process and privacy protections, minimizes workplace disruptions and prevents discrimination.  Once reforms are put in place providing an earned path to citizenship for undocumented workers already here, tough legal penalties should apply to employers who recruit, hire or exploit undocumented workers, produce fraudulent documents, retaliate against workers who exercise their labor rights, or evade the payment of taxes on undocumented workers.  Secure Our Borders  A major overhaul of the immigration system will make border enforcement more realistic and doable. Improvements to border enforcement should include "smart border" measures that combine personnel, equipment and technology to reduce illegal immigration; efficient processing and fair proceedings; and strategies that focus on detecting and deterring terrorists and cracking down on criminal smugglers and employers that break the law.

41 Another Type of Unionism  a form of unionism that focuses on using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of members who belong to a particular union WHILE also aggressively engaging in campaigns that will improve the conditions of the working class a whole.  using collective bargaining to improve the wages, hours and working conditions of members who belong to a particular union.  Focus on bread-and- butter issues of a segment of the working class.

42 Lunch  Back at 1pm for our trip to the Bronx Museum of Art


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