Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What shall Labor put in its place?

A comment on Andy Stern's blog says,
The fascinating thing about the split between the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win coalition is that a significant segment of the labor movement finally seems to understand that the old New Deal model for generating wage premiums is obsolete. But what can a new labor movement put in its place?

I would submit that merely shifting more resources into organizing is not enough. You have to give non-union workers an incentive to join, and the traditional types of incentives just don't work in today's economy.
The writer gets it right but than falls apart with attacks on social parisates (used to be a name of a actual crime in Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Check Wikpedia for Parasitism as Social Offense.) concluding,
I think you can see where I'm going with this. If the labor movement is really ready to jettison its old way of doing things, it can think in terms of fighting the entire parasitic establishment (including those politicians that are on the AFL-CIO's payroll) and not just tinkering with the terms of exchange with their immediate employers.

Think big, and you can inspire people to act--and make it worth their while.
Think a little bigger than fighting parasitism, and contemplate services unions can provide cheaper collectively than workers can do for themselves. Organize workers to transition radical economic change. Don't build gulags.

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