Some Reasons Why Robust Unions Are Important Right Now
Allied Workers of America talks to a nighttime street meeting
at outside Shafter, California. Dorothea Lange/Library of Congress.
I came across this image today. Unions are not a panacea. But robust unions go some way to protecting people. They can afford some protection from rapacious employers who simply don't care that shortcuts they take are deadly. They can protect them from government regulators who (as Alan Greenspan did this week*) excuse their own failings and brag about an essentially 'C-' performance on the job. And unions might put some starch into the collars of politicians like Obama who, offered an opportunity to resist the consistent and extreme rightward shift in the Supreme Court over the past four decades, seems to be heading toward more accommodation with the conservatives. We need unions.