Overtime (was Re: happy autoworkers)

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Sun Jul 12 10:09:03 PDT 1998

Michael Eisenscher wrote:

>By comparison, in 1995, the Computer Manufacturing industry employed about
>498,000, of whom only 2.1% were union members. Adding other
>electronics/information technology mfg. sectors (office equipment,
>communications, and instruments...but not aerospace), there were about 1.1
>million workers of whom about 6% overall were union members. In the Silicon
>Valley, there is not a single semiconductor or computer manufacturing
>facility that is organized.
>Despite much talk about organizing, as of this writing I am aware of not one
>union (or the AFL-CIO) which has committed resources and staff to a
>long-term sustained organizing effort in this **basic** industry. Can a
>labor movement looking to its future afford to allow so strategically
>important a sector to remain unorganized without putting that future into

I was in Eugene, Oregon, a couple of summers ago, visiting friends, at a time when Hyundai was proposing to build a chip plant against strong local opposition. (Those Oregonians love their computers, but no chip plants there, please!) An article in the local paper, the Register-Guard, quoted Oregon state economic development literature bragging that wages in the Oregon electronics industry, around $5/hr, were lower than Singapore's. It made me proud to be an American!


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