The theme for this week's Goat Rope is the future of the labor movement. If this is your first visit, please click on earlier entries.
We know that union members tend to have better wages and benefits than their non-union counterparts and that polling indicates that millions of Americans would join unions if they could. So why isn't that happening?
American Rights at Work provides some answers:
Every 23 minutes a U.S. worker is fired or retaliated against for their support of a union.
Between 1993 and 2003, NLRB reports indicate an average of 22,633 workers per year were awarded backpay from employers after being fired or demoted for trying to organize.
91% of employers force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with their supervisors during union organizing drives...
51% of employers illegally coerce workers into opposing unions with bribes or special favors during union organizing drives...
30% of employers illegally fire pro-union workers during union organizing drives...
49% of employers illegally threaten to close a worksite during union organizing drives if workers choose to form a union...
46% of workers report being pressured by management during NLRB elections...
(Click the above link for more statistics and sources.)
There oughta be a law...
...about which more tomorrow.
AT THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM, here's Barbara Ehrenreich on CEO pay. An excerpt:
...CEOs of large companies earn an average of $10.8 million a year, which is 362 times as much as the average American worker, and retire with $10.1 million in their special exclusive CEO pension funds.
Citing a recent report released for Labor Day by United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies, she notes that US CEO pay "wildly exceeds that of their European counterparts, who, we are invited to believe, work equally hard."
The report states that
"The 20 highest-paid individuals at publicly traded corporations last year took home, on average, $36.4 million. That's ... 204 times more than the 20 highest-paid generals in the U.S. military."
She is quick to point out, however, that they need every penny of it since it's so expensive to be rich these days.
NOW THAT SUMMER IS KIND OF OFFICIALLY OVER, here's an item on the vanishing American vacation.
COSMIC WATERGATE. From the Charleston Daily Mail:
Nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman arrives in West Virginia's capital Friday with "overwhelming evidence" that aliens from beyond have been visiting planet Earth for a long time...
For almost half a century, Friedman has explored the UFO phenomenon and spent much of his time on the lecture circuit, meeting audiences on better than 600 campuses and appearing on national television interviews, including, of late, the "Larry King Show."
"UFOs are real, and the government has been covering them up in what I call the ‘cosmic Watergate,' " Friedman told The Register-Herald in a recent interview.
The conference will be held this weekend in Charleston.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED