Is the pendulum starting to swing back the other way? At the turn of the last century, workers began to organize and fight back for fair treatment from their employers. Gradually, they won some hard fought for rights through collective bargaining, proving that there is indeed strength in numbers. Then along came Saint Ronald of San Clemente who told those backbones of the nation, big businesses, that they no longer had to deal with those greedy unions. He told them they could just fire them all when they went out on strike, and replace them with non-unionized workers who would be willing to work for peanuts. So began the decline of labor unions in the U.S.
Yesterday, thousands of Walmart workers staged protests at store locations in 15 cities nationwide, leading to about one hundred arrests and some allegations of firings for attempting to organize a union and demanding fair wages. The company, of course, denies that anyone was fired for striking or for attempting to organize a union, because that would be illegal. They say that any workers who were fired were fired because of attendance issues Of course, in this case, that translates to going on strike.
This is a lot like it happened the first time around. First a few workers got together to try to find a way to make the management concede to some of their demands, and the numbers began to grow and soon they had a full-blown labor union. They made progress until we all finally had what we are losing today with the demise of the unions. No one in the workforce today has ever seen the rise or the heyday of the unions, but it is beginning to look as if they are about to make a comeback. Hopefully, we will all be here to see it this time around.
Take a look at this Young Turks broadcast about these brave Walmart strikers: