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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

 
Leapin' Lizards

Tim Cavanaugh has this headline at Reason Online: Stegosaurus Claims Brontosauruses Failing To Change With the Times. The stegosaurus speaks:

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, beloved editor of The Nation, describes the split [within the AFL-CIO] as a regrettable but probably necessary step needed to rejuvenate a labor movement "that can provide an organized and intelligent moral center to a majoritarian progressive politics - the folks who brought you the weekend, the eight-hour day, and so much else that makes this country (almost) civilized."

She has it all wrong, says Cavanaugh. The money quote (excerpted in this week's EIA Communiqué as Quote of the Week):

"The death of organized labor has been going on now for more than 40 years. It has proceeded under liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, in boom times and bust, through every change in work environments, job types, and worker demographics…. [The Change to Win unions] could start by recognizing that this is now a free-agent nation. If there's a model for labor negotiations in the future, it's the model of the Major League Baseball Players Association, which works out very bare-bones collective agreements featuring salary basements and basic work rules and benefits, but doesn't punish high achievers for the good of the benchwarmers. Unions have been grotesquely slow to learn the benefits of flexibility in the workplace."

Unionism must either evolve, or go the way of the dinosaurs.




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