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UNIONS: Krauthammer wrong on labor history

Letter by William F. Johnston, Tacoma on June 11, 2012 at 11:43 am with 7 Comments »
June 11, 2012 2:43 pm

Celebrating “The beginning of the end for public-sector unions,” Charles Krauthammer’s column (TNT, 6-8) demonstrates he knows as little about history as he does politics and economics.

The first recorded strike of organized “public-sector” workers took place in the Valley of Kings more than 2,000 years ago. The union city workers of Rome walked out on a general strike in the first century.

I could go on, but the point is “public-sector unions” have been around far longer than Krauthammer’s reference and will no doubt long outlast his prediction of pending collapse.

What Krauthammer and his right-wing cronies fail to understand is that organized labor has put itself into the weak position it is in by continuing to follow the philosophy of “business unionism” developed near the turn of the century. Today labor is using 19th-century organizing as it attempts to deal with an economic system that has moved almost two centuries beyond them.

By and by new labor leadership will emerge and will understand our monopolistic economy and politics. This leadership will understand that a more aggressive and membership-driven labor movement needs to be organized.

And when that happens, I doubt Krauthammer and the one percenters will like it very much.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. When has kruthammer ever been correct?

  2. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Kruthammer has never been more correct.

    Did government workers in WI and in the federal workforce tear up their union cards solely because the union had lost its right to bargain collectively on their behalf? That’s doubtful: Even under the new laws, unions still negotiate over some things. More likely, public-sector employees ditched their unions for the same reasons so many employees in the private sector — which is now less than 7 percent unionized — have done so: Many never wanted to join a union in the first place. Others were repelled by the authoritarian, belligerent, and left-wing political culture that entrenched unionism so often embodies.

    When will WA State government unions set their people free? Hopefully soon. They need to be told that extortion is illegal and I am sick of MY tax dollars being used to administer this blackmail scheme.

  3. tree_guy says:

    The title of the column “The Beginning of the End for Public Sector Unions” wasn’t written by Krauthammer, but rather by the News Tribune. Had you actually read the column you would have learned that Krauthammer predicted the DECLINE of the public sector unions, not it’s ending.

  4. BlaineCGarver says:

    Charles K. flushes more brains than you ever had, Kluwer.

  5. Taxed – According to Walker’s Plan collective bargaining is limited to WAGE issues.


    BGC – what Charles flusese is brown so it only looks like neocon brain matter.

  6. averageJoseph says:

    Kooky nosering, how many libs have told us how many times that Walker ‘stripped them of their right to collective barginning’?

  7. Charles K. flushes more brains than you ever had, Kluwer.

    Are you saying that Chuckie is a serial killer? or just a grave robber?

    Or are you saying that he has been steadily killing off his brain cells and the decay of the quality of his columns is evidence of that? That I could agree with.

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