Collective Bargaining For All

Posted on April 2, 2011 by

Let’s make the 2012 election about unions and not let day-to-day political debate over budgets, taxes, foreign policy and personality obscure the fact that American workers are falling behind.

Some democrats will worry that too much union-talk will scare off independent voters.  The mainstream media will refer to us as an “interest group.”

Our job is to act like a movement, not just a constituency.

We can do that.

Ask the 15,000 activists who marched through downtown LA on March 26.

An improved economy in 2012 can help re-elect Obama and possibly keep the democratic majority in the senate.  But that can’t be our only goal.

Madison has given us our best shot in decades to explain how union decline leads to economic disparity and how a stonger labor movement narrows the wage, income and wealth gap.

Then we make the case to American workers that unions can improve their lives.

Not so easy.

But union-busting republican governors have opened the door for a national discussion of  our movement.  And the public seems willing to take a fresh look at how unions give ordinary people a bigger piece of the pie.

So just as tea party activists hold republicans accountable to their agenda, we should prod democrats to commit to an expanding labor movement.

We’re not asking for socialism or big government. 

Just liberty, justice and “collective bargaining rights” for all.

Comments (5)


  1. Greg says:


  2. Ben says:

    Lou, I’m OK with that formulation for now: yes, “collective bargaining rights for all workers” is a good place to start and an important demand to raise. I’m with you. On the other hand, I also think we should ask for, or better yet, struggle for socialism and for “big government” if that means a government that is truly of, by and for the people, that stands with the people in their fight for health care, quality public education, retirement security, full employment, as well as collective bargaining rights … well, you get the idea, I’m sure.

  3. Carlos says:

    Lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet. One march does not make a movement. Regiestration and more demonasrtaions will make people see this movement is not dead. Since we have this momentum lets keep it going.

    • Betty Madden says:

      Taking direction from the ‘Tea Party’ who meet now weekly we likewise must be in the streets weekly on locations around our communities, one March does not make a movement but weekly gatherings coeless a group to form a single voice ‘Yes We Can’ is labors slogan and I here it used by different groups and organizations and special interests other than organized labor. Let’s own it as no one else can. Where is next weeks gathering? How about at our city colleges? I’ll help. Then our high schools and our churches and our community centers in the parks on the soccer fields and football fields where ever people gather is the place to be informing our communities that to thrive as a community and a civil society we need to stand united preserving bargaining rights for all working families and that right is our civil right and duty to protect freedom, opportunity and security. America can lead the world again not with weapons of mass destruction but by winning hearts and minds.

  4. Mike Sanchez says:

    I also strongly support the “movement.” Historically speaking, every time workers unite and collaborate there is no telling what can be accomplished. Even though is is sad to say that those who are in control will employ inhuman tactics to disarm the unity of workers while disregarding the consequences, i agree with Betty Madden. It is time people come together and set aside there so called “busy lives” to participate in the “movement” because if they don’t, they will have no lives, no one will. It won’t be long until humans become commodities; another number on the stock market.

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