You knew Labor Day was about workers and unions didn’t ya? Not just barbecuing, bargains on unclaimed airline luggage, mattress sales and the Jerry Lewis Telethon (starring Ryan Seacrest)? John Logan of San Francisco State University notes reasons for optimism in The Hill including positive trends on overall popularity and the recent actions by workers at WalMart and fast food outlets. Also, for the first time in years an actually functioning National Labor Relations Board.
Finally, Logan writes:
Finally, as demonstrated by next week’s “open convention,” the AFL-CIO and its affiliates are more flexible, imaginative, and inclusive than ever before. They have embraced the struggles of domestic workers, carwash workers, Wal-Mart workers, fast food workers and others. They have formed deep alliances with the NAACP, National Council of La Raza, Sierra Club, religious organizations, and other groups that support basic justice for American workers. And they have played a key role in lobbying for federal legislation that benefits all workers – healthcare reform, equal pay legislation, immigration reform, an increase in the minimum wage and paid sick leave.
Unions have recognized that they need public relations remediation and allies, and have sought to find common ground with other organizations to join forces against the GOP and Chamber of Commerce.
It can never be said enough: the middle class built America and unions built the middle class. Policies that benefit union membership, benefit the overall economy by increasing wages and demand.