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No Labor=No Unions

3 Pages 803 Words

No unions=No power for Labor

After being a powerful force throughout the force in the 1950’s and 1960’s unions took a drastic turn for the worse in the three following decades. Throughout the 1970’s, 1980’s and the 1990’s organized labored struggled mightily to be effective and almost lost all of its power to big businesses. The employers fighting the unions was part of the problem for unions but this loss of power was due largely to the lack of support, and in some cases opposition, of the Federal Government towards labor unions.
There are many reasons this loss of power by the unions took place. One of the most important reasons for this was because Union’s most powerful weapon, the strike, was all but taken away from them. As Mark A. de Bernardo, director of the Labor Law Action Center at the United States Chamber of Commerce said, “Labors trump card in a dispute, the strike, is no longer a trump”. (Boris p.598) strike came about because of the increase in scab labor. Scab labor is when new workers are hired to replace workers that are striking to get their demands reached. Led by the example given by administration of Ronald Reagan many companies followed this model to ending labor disputes. The Reagan Administration’s handling of the strike of Air traffic controllers was the perfect model for anti-union Employers to follow. (Lichtenstein p. 593) When employers can fall back on less expensive and readily available workers are there to replace anyone striking, no workers will strike even if they have union backing. They cannot strike out of fear of being unemployed. Robert M. Baptise, a Washington attorney for labor unions, realized that in a strike the companies would say “‘enough, let’s sit down and get serious.’” He added, “Now companies just want to get rid of the unions”. (Boris p.598) With scab labor the value of the employee is dramatically reduced and they become just another interchangea...

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