Sunday, November 20, 2016
First 100 days state-by-progressive-state re-unionizatioin agenda
None of this below has ever been vetted by the courts -- but no time like now to start -- the workability seems very compelling.
First, (progressive) states can add to federal protections like the minimum wage or safety regulations. Don't know why they could not add to labor organizing protections.
LEGAL dissection: Suppose that the opposite of today there were no federal setup for establishing a collective bargaining unit -- people in the free market established their units ad hoc when and where they were able. Suppose that unlike today that federal law made interfering with establishing a collective bargaining unit a crime. [This reverse combination might do more for labor than today's actual situation -- but I digress.]
Examples of federal fed and state parallel statutes: bank robbery, RICO (33 states), etc. If there were no organizing setup to PREEMPT, there would be no question states could make union busting a crime. With today's fed set up I would still think it perfectly obvious that states merely protecting that setup is not preempting.
Now we add the CONSTITUTIONAL dissection: Given the established First Amendment right to organize (commercial association), the fed cannot setup an exclusive path to collective bargaining if said path is in a permanent blocked condition.
The process of labor organizing is by definition adversarial situation where history in the US (recent decades at least) shows unchecked market power -- MONOPSONY! -- all on one side.
6% union density in private industry -- and it wouldn't even be 6% if they had to start from scratch today -- 6% union density (and dropping) is all proof anybody should ever need that the road to collective bargaining is permanently blocked.
Put at its simplest: the fed cannot preempt something with nothing -- not with a fundamental constitutional right at stake. This should make the open path to states criminalizing union busting doubly unduckable.
Logically IF THE FED CANNOT PREEMPT SOMETHING WITH NOTHING -- if it's difficult to get people to think that any radically new way of doing things is possible -- logically: states should be able to erect their own labor union certification setup UNTIL THE FED REFORMS.
What I'd like to see at the state and eventually federal level is mandated certification elections on a finding of union busting. Simpler, more streamlined than using up law enforcement resources, no businesspersons go to jail (big business more pin-downable than small, just like with discrimination statutes).
In Wisconsin the Republicans force recertification of public employee unions every year -- with 51% of membership required, not just voters. So what's so alien about forcing a certification election with reasonable cause?
Interestingly, California (and maybe others, I don't know) have a separate union certification setup for farm workers only. This is done on the strength of FDR telling Congress that it did not apply to farm workers, probably just to get it through.
6% union density is like 20/10 blood pressure -- it starves every other healthy economic and political process. I am sure that all these stories we see about big pharma making drugs so expensive nobody can use them (think Sovaldi which could eliminate Hep C overnight for the cost of half a billion dollars manufacturing, but Gilead wants 300 billion!), for profit colleges (Trump), trillion in student loans, etc., would never have gotten so bad in the first place if there were anybody minding the store.
David Broder, late dean of the Washington press corps said that when he came to DC fifty years earlier the lobbyists were all union -- the economic cops on the blocks.
10,000 gun homicides in US -- 8,000 gang related. Ever want to stop the shooting in Chicago, $400 jobs will have to start paying $800 AGAIN (my old taxi job, supermarkets -- be nice if regional airline pilots didn't have to take food stamps, answer to the latter is centralized bargaining, look it up). Meantime 100,000 out of my guesstimate 200,000 Chicago gang age males are in street gangs to try to make a living. Only unions will stop the shooting -- absolutely no other way.
Want to ruin Donald's day -- in case that's the only thing that matters to you: actually help poor blacks (who did not vote against) and blue collar whites (who did vote for) -- unlike O and the Clintons who never did anything for either of them; not enough to make their lives promising again anyway.
LABOR UNIONS ARE THEIR ONLY WAY BACK -- AND THE POWER WILL BE ALL THEIRS TO DO IT.
Nobody can stop the march of collective bargaining once progressive states wake up and realize they -- not only -- can but -- only they can -- restore healthy labor union density to our undernourished, moribund democratic process.
PS. Don't be daunted if Repubs force right-to-work nationally. In the German labor market, the platinum standard of labor effectiveness, I don't believe there is a single majority union -- mostly "freeloaders" -- but mostly collectively bargained -- that's the difference.
BUT THE LABOR UNION ROAD IS THE LAST THING ACADEMIC PROGRESSIVES -- INCLUDING BERNIE AND WARREN -- EVER THINK TO TRAVEL. WHAT'S WRONG?