American Unions

Posted: June 19, 2013
By: Clay Cerny

I don’t have much time to blog tonight (the Blackhawks game start in 10 minutes).  But I do want to recommend a great post from Laura Clawson of Daily Kos.  The governor of Pennsylvania commissioned a survey to develop a strategy to blame teachers’ unions for the state’s problems.

We see similar attacks in state after state.  Too many American have bought into the myth that unions are a problem.  The forces that want to make money off of public schools have been some of the loudest voices in this campaign.  We need to support public schools, teachers, and unions.  All working people need to stick together, not stab each other in the back.

Posted: July 16, 2012
By: Clay Cerny

Common Dreams has republished an article by Richard Seymour of the Guardian that looks at the broad implications of a teacher’s strike in Chicago.  The issue is not simply salary as some critics try to claim.  Chicago teachers know that the Mayor and other officials are defunding public schools while they transfer money to unproven charter schools. Seymour looks beyond this point to say that a successful campaign by Chicago teachers could revitalize American labor.

I want to be hopeful about Seymour’s analysis, but I can’t. Americans have been fed anti-union lies for three decades, and they often repeat them without thinking.  It must be true, they think.  Even if Chicago’s teachers are successful, which I hope they are, the larger union movement in America will not rise up anytime soon.  Wisconsin proved that.

Too many Americans have bought the libertarian lies.  Even as salaries and the safety net get weaker and weaker, lovers of “freedom” condemn any kind of public action, whether it is government or labor.  They want individual liberty.  And, as Mencken said of democracy, they will get it, “good and hard.”