Posted December 18, 2012 at 8:00 am, in From the USW International President
Apparently, uncertainty is a fate worse than death for a CEO. Billionaires bellyache about it constantly on TV, contending they must know, right now, whether next year’s tax rates will rise. Republicans bewail uncertainty, insisting CEOs must know, right now, whether they’ll get a tax holiday for overseas profits.
Their deep, abiding concern about the ill effects of uncertainty doesn’t extend, however, to the middle class. To Republicans and far too many billionaires and CEOs, weighing down workers with uncertainty about wages, health insurance and retirement is a fate well deserved.
In fact, Republicans in the past two years have gone hog-wild heightening middle class fear and uncertainty. In addition to demanding cuts to programs crucial to middle class certainty like Medicare and Social Security, Republican lawmakers in GOP-controlled states across the country have passed laws prohibiting union security clauses in collective bargaining agreements. This results in weaker unions and lower benefits and wages, not just for union workers but for everyone in union insecurity states. That creates financial insecurity, the worst kind of uncertainty.
Union security clauses give labor organizations some financial certainty. They require any worker who benefits from a collective bargaining agreement to either join and pay dues or to decline membership and pay a smaller fee covering the cost of union services like negotiation and grievance resolution.
Some states – union insecurity states – forbid these clauses. There’s a total of 24 now, with GOP-controlled Michigan and Indiana joining this year. These governors say their efforts are intended to assist workers in union shops who don’t want to pay anything toward the cost of union services.
So, of course, these governors wouldn’t exclude a union, which would allow that union to retain security while denying it to all the rest. Right? (more…)