Submitted on Thu, 12/08/2005 - 3:39pm
When Labor Leaders Fail to Deliver,What Should Union Members Do? - By Harry Kelber (Fourth in a series of six articles)
Every union member, whether in the AFL-CIO or Change to Win coalition, is experiencing a growing anxiety about their economic future. And their problems are getting worse with the passage of time.
The announcement that General Motors is eliminating 30.000 jobs may be just the tip of the iceberg. During 2004, the nation's employers laid off 4,197,000 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), who called them "job losers."
Neither the AFL-CIO nor the unions in Change to Win challenged the layoffs, accepting them like a natural disaster, similar to Hurricane Katrina or a tsunami. In virtually every instance, unions allowed employers the right to cut as many jobs as they desired, without consulting their workers. Thus, even companies that were rolling in profits took part in the layoff epidemic to lower their labor costs still further, while expecting the remaining workers to take up any slack in production. We're not sure where the ax will fall next, but what if you become one of the victims?