sokol at sokol at
Thu Feb 18 08:52:22 PST 1999

At 09:38 AM 2/16/99 -0500, Max Sawicky wrote of Joel Kotkin:
>Gawd what a loathesome creature . . .

Perhaps, his sucking up to the market-schmarket crowd is nauseating. But that does not mean that all his arguments are rubbish. Au contraire, he makes a few valid points. Among them is his argument that the economy is woirking against the unions as we know them. He cites several reasons that need a serious discussion:

1. The movement toward small firms (often welcome by liberals and populists who are hostile toward big corporations) creates unhospitable environment for union organizing.

2. Low wage workers cannot generate sufficient resources for financing union 'realpolitik' campaigns. That in, turn, may push unions toward making spectacles instead of real changes.

3. Unionization will cause job flight from urban centers (union strongholds) to the hinterlands that are hostile to unions.

These are valid arguments that must be addressed. I think we are shooting ourselves in the foot by shunning them as a mere right wing rant. A better approach is to develop a strategy that effectively counteracts the political-economic forces working against trade unionism. Specifically, how to make unions a vital force in the small-firm environment; how to generate sufficient resources without overburdenining low-wage workers with dues; and how to couter-act moving jobs to impoversished union-hostile environment.

Any suggestions?


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