Hey, Dems Go union!

“A better deal: better skills, better jobs, better wages.” Yep, that’s the Democrats’ sorry excuse for a theme for their 2018 political campaign.

Oh, it’s a nice thought, however boring, archaic and short on historical substance. How many times over the years has organized labor heard such banality from the Democrats? Too many times in too many campaigns to count.

If the Democrats can’t finally come out swinging in support of working men and women in 2018, then the Democrats will face a slow death by irrelevance. As Hillary discovered, it’s difficult for them to win without labor vostes.

Union workers left the Democratic Party in droves at the polls in 2016 when they finally said enough is enough. The tipping point was when Hillary Clinton turned up her nose at workers during the campaign by simply ignoring them in certain highly unionized industrial states.

But the estrangement started long before 2016. Workers have been expressing skepticism about the Democrats’ efforts on their behalf for many years, as far back as the early 1960s. That’s when Dems helped kill legislation that would have deleted section 14b from the Taft-Hartley Law, the section allowing states to pass so-called right-to-work laws that strip workers of wages, hours and working conditions.

Then came trucking deregulation under President Jimmy Carter, the loss of anti-strike legislation and the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) under Bill Clinton and the rejection of the Employee Free Choice Act while Barack Obama was president.

Congressional passage of the Wagner Act in 1935 gave workers the right to organize into unions, but since then the law has never been amended to make it easier for labor to organize.

Unfortunately, the law that protects workers’ freedom to bargain has been perverted. Workers who want to form unions are threatened with plant closings, interrogated, offered bribes, spied on and intimidated.

The Wagner Act has never been capable of keeping pace with the evolving up-to-date and mendacious union busting tactics of corporate America. Since 1935, the only laws passed concerning private sector union organizing have made it more difficult.

The long-term decline in collective bargaining is a significant cause, not only of wage stagnation but also the nation’s health care and retirement security crises, which grow worse daily.

A key element in achieving economic fairness must be the restoration of workers’ freedom to form unions, speak for themselves and negotiate a fair share of the wealth.

Strong unions are needed today if the nation’s workforce is to regain a semblance of economic balance with Wall Street bankers, speculators and corporate CEOs.

Today only 8 percent of private sector workers belong to unions, even though independent surveys show that most workers say they want a union in their workplace.

Hey Democrats, want to get the union vote in 2018? We suggest adding a few words to your new campaign theme:

“For a better deal, better skills, better jobs, better wages — Go Union!”

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