September 4, 2008

Fight For Workers' Rights [new Nader article]

By Ralph Nader:

Last year I issued a Labor Day statement noting that the Taft-Hartley Act, one of the great blows to American democracy, had been in effect for 60 years.


Union officials should speak out for abolition of Taft-Hartley, and not concede this monumental employer usurpation of worker rights.


Consider the following:

· S&P 500 CEOs now make about 344 times more than the average worker at their firms.

· The top fifth of households own more than 84.7 percent of the nation’s wealth, the middle fifth percent less than 3.8 percent of the nation's wealth.

· The percent of wealth owned and controlled by the wealthiest 1 percent of households, now equals that of the bottom 92 percent.

· Women and minority males earn 69 percent to 80 percent of what White men make.

In addition, more than a third of single mothers with children live in poverty.

Repealing Taft-Hartley would certainly help workers to organize for better wages and working conditions. The fight would be monumental, but so would the gains.

click here for all of it

Last week I was watching the daily rain forecast on some local news station in New Orleans, you know where they show the little picture of the weather conditions for each day of the week? On labor day it had this little picture of a station wagon with a canoe on top. Supposedly, Labor Day is just about not being at work and therefore having time to do something fun, like canoeing. How about a graphic of the Haymarket riots? Or a picket line or something? People literally fought and, yes, put their lives on the line to get labor rights. It's more than just an off day from work and school.

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