Laura Clawson of Daily Kos looks at the dilemma faced by labor unions in the upcoming Democratic primary. Most experts still think that Hilary Clinton will win the nomination. That view is opposed by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which supports Bernie Sanders. Unions will have to walk a tightrope in making endorsements. Many see Sanders as more pro-union. That said, Clinton has supported unions as well and has called for an increase in the minimum wage.
I’m a big fan of Bernie Sanders. However, if Hilary Clinton is the nominee, I would happily support her. Given our current political climate, the Democrats are the only real alternative to a party that is anti-union and opposes raising the minimum wage.
Today’s top story is all about the world’s greatest basketball player, LeBron James, who has decided to return to Cleveland because he wants to raise his children where he was born. This story warms the hearts of people, especially for those like me who root for rust-belt cities like Cleveland and Detroit. There’s a deeper story that the media is not covering. As a free agent, James was able to move to the team he choose. Once upon a time, pro athletes were tied to the same teams for their entire career. Players organized in unions and sued for the right to control their futures. The most important names in this struggle were probably Curt Flood and Marvin Miller, of the baseball players union. Flood prematurely ended his career to sue and break the “reserve clause.” Many of the people cheering for LeBron James are probably anti-union. They’ve been influenced by more than thirty years of propaganda funded by large corporate interests. When they cheer for James, they should think about the freedom and security he has because of those who came before him and fought for his right to choose where he wanted to work.
Writing in Think Progress, Pat Garofalo reports that Wisconsin legislators are now trying to attack private sector unions in the name of “preventing layoffs.” The plan is called “work-sharing,” and it would allow companies with union workers to cut hours without consulting unions. The only way working people will be safe from such schemes is to vote for politicians who support labor rights; however, they are hard to find these days. It will be interesting to see how Governor Walker reacts if this measure is passed. Who frightens him more, the Koch Brothers or the voters?
All eyes on Wisconsin – again.