Thursday, Oct 08th

Last update03:12:59 AM GMT

You are here News Domestic (USA) Why the right to form a union should be a civil right

Why the right to form a union should be a civil right

E-mail Print PDF

Labor DayIn 1961, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the United Auto Workers about what the civil rights movement had learned from the labor movement. He said that, in the 1930s, “you creatively stood up for your rights by sitting down at your machines, just as our courageous students are sitting down at lunch counters across the South.”

When King was describing the “kinship” between the two movements, organized labor was strong, representing about a third of the non-agricultural private-sector workforce. The civil rights movement was still a fledgling campaign, not yet having won passage of the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act.

This Labor Day, the roles have reversed. The civil rights movement is the nation’s iconic cause. The gay rights movement, hardly a blip on the radar screen a half-century ago, is winning meaningful victories in the courts and in legislatures. But unions are on the road to virtual extinction.

Even public-sector unions, now a majority of the labor movement, are on the defensive. A new movie, “Won’t Back Down,” unfairly paints teachers unions as impediments to quality education for students of color. One character asks, “When did Norma Rae get to be the bad guy?”


Most Recent Related Stories...

Panel: Remove Confederate flag from Florida Senate seal

Florida State sealCiting historical inaccuracies and a need to reflect modern values, a Senate committee unanimously recommended Thursday...

NYPD Officer Used Excessive Force On Ex-Tennis Player James Blake: Review Board

James BlakeThe police officer who mistakenly arrested former tennis star James Blake will face an excessive force...

Oklahoma used wrong drug in Charles Warner's execution, autopsy report says

Charles WarnerOklahoma corrections officials used the wrong drug to execute Charles Warner in January, according to an...

Air Force: French train hero stabbed in California

French hero stabbed in CAAn Air Force spokesman says Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, who helped subdue an attacker on...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!