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politics

Right To Work

“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining…We demand this fraud be stopped.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Build Union - Local Four

Quote I hadn’t heard before from MLK, Jr.

“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining…We demand this fraud be stopped.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Right to work” is, along with “Death Tax” and “Clear Skies Act,” among the disco hits of Republican Orwellian language. As the fact that it was around for Martin Luther King to address it suggests, it is one of the longest-disputed such false slogans and frauds. That we are still fighting it shows both the degree to which Republican officeholders and the corporations that fight so hard to elect them want this legislation on the books from coast to coast and the tenacity with which working people have fought back.

It’s not enough for today’s Republicans that the richest 1% of the population takes in 24% of the nation’s income. Not enough for them that 20% of the population holds 85% of the wealth. Not enough for them that: median weekly wages, when adjusted for inflation, fell slightly for both high school and college graduates from 2000 to 2009, according to a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank

No, not content with all of that, they’re mounting a massive assault on what we have left. In a classic divide and conquer strategy, most of the most overt assaults are on unions—get non-union workers to think that the economy is in trouble because the teacher down the street has a pension rather than because the wealthy have more than their share and don’t pay their share. But ultimately, it’s not about corporations and Republicans vs. unions. It’s about corporations and Republicans vs. working people—if you’ll notice, everyone outside the top 10% or so has been losing ground, not just union members. (Not mostly union members, in fact, which is probably why they get targeted first.) And attempting to pass RtW laws in several states is part of that assault.

(click here to continue reading Daily Kos: So-called “Right to Work” and the assault on the middle class.)

 

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