Monday, April 13, 2009

Today's Multiple Choice Question for Today's Struggles

by Norman Markowitz

As of last year, the number of workers in U.S. privater sector unions was 7.5 percent, the lowest in the developed world. What strategies and policies are best to at least double and possibly triple that number over the next four years, as was done in the first five years of the New Deal government in the 1930s.

a. launch a national organizing drive, recruiting organizers from community activist organizations to help connect non union activist groups with the organizing drives.

b. After the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, mobilize all resources to enact a new National Labor Relations Law that would repeal Taft-Hartley, Landrum-Griffin, and all anti-labor federal legislation's as a precondition to launching a national organizing drive centered on present day "right to work states."

c. Launch a national organizing drive centered on technical and
professional workers, skilled "information age" workers who are
overwhelmingly unorganized and threatened directly by both outsourcing
of technical professional jobs, and cutbacks .

d. work with trade union movements abroad to have the Obama administration . accept and endorse the Social Charter (Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers) approved by European Union Member states in 1988 and later updated in 2000. The Charter provides guidelines for state in regard to trade union rights, health and safety protections on the job, equal opportunity, and the social rights (protections and benefits of workers). It also specifically seeks to translate these principles in to legislation at the national level.

e. all or any combination of the above

f. Any other ideas for strategies and policies.