Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

Unions? What Unions? Labor Leaders to Blame for Workers' Weakness

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page.

I will never understand why the people who are jealous of unionized workers who earn $50,000 a year give a pass to the incompetent bank executives who get $5,000,000. Resentment is a terrible thing to waste.

Given how terribly companies have treated workers in recent years--mass layoffs, outsourcing, stagnant wages, piling on the work, while they pay their executives seven-figure salaries--you'd think Americans would be more receptive to unions. But organized labor's bad rep isn't surprising. A half-century of smears by big business and their media allies and sleazy laws passed by corrupt anti-worker politicians (c.f. the Taft-Hartley Act) have established today's image of organized labor as corrupt, selfish and marginal.

As if that propaganda colossus wasn't enough to contend with, labor unions have responded to these attacks with a series of poorly thought-out strategies that fed into that narrative.

As a result fewer than seven percent of private-sector workers belong to a union. And the last union stronghold, public-sector employees (36 percent represented), is under siege by Republicans in states like Wisconsin and Ohio.

Where did union leaders mess up? They made so many bone-headed decisions that it's hard to know where to start.