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Labor

August 23, 2013

Dear Editor, We all live in the same country, but there are literally two Americas. One America is flowing with the milk of prosperity and the honey of equalit....

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turley

Aug-23-13 1:55 PM

When I read this one, I thought I woke up in 1955......there might have been some TRUTH and value in the unions then!....now, they are just puppets who garner votes for the democrats from useful idiots.....like they did to the ormet workers.

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oluhjnb

Aug-23-13 4:18 PM

Don't worry turley you're still asleep. Try Progressing about 58 years and wake up in 2013.

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uglyassmf

Aug-23-13 5:02 PM

People have to stand together. business owners do. the American Medical Association fixes rates so that you basically pay the same any where you go for a medical procedure. So do lawyers and many other professions have organizations that are no different than a labor union. any one who can't see that is a blind fool.

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Thoughtful

Aug-23-13 5:31 PM

Mr. Lofton,

where do I even start.......

Millions of Americans thrive, succeed, and elevate their financial success in many different ways. some are union members, others are self employed, own businesses, and others work for companies and find no need to join a union. today, the driving force of improvement is not an external organization but rather a self motivating drive to educate, gain experience, master a unique trade or vocation, and add increasing value in the work place. thousands of employers are playing very sounds wages, benefits, and advancing those types of individuals. Selling your talents and strengths, being aggressive, and adding value to any organization provides opportunity. Looking to someone else to promote oneself only weakens the inner drive, elevation of expertise and knowledge, and self value vision.

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BushCrimeFamily

Aug-23-13 6:15 PM

Unions Gave Us The Weekend: Even the ultra-conservative Mises Institute notes that the relatively labor-free 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now. Yet in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century, labor unions engaged in massive strikes in order to demand shorter workweeks so that Americans could be home with their loved ones instead of constantly toiling for their employers with no leisure time. By 1937, these labor actions created enough political momentum to pass the Fair Labor Standards Act, which helped create a federal framework for a shorter workweek that included room for leisure time.

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BushCrimeFamily

Aug-23-13 6:15 PM

Unions Helped End Child Labor: “Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined” in U.S. history, with organizations like the “National Consumers’ League” and the “National Child Labor Committee” working together in the early 20th century to ban child labor. The very first American Federation of Labor (AFL) national convention passed “a resolution calling on states to ban children under 14 from all gainful employment” in 1881, and soon after states across the country adopted similar recommendations, leading up to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated child labor on the federal level for the first time.

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BushCrimeFamily

Aug-23-13 6:16 PM

Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: “The rise of unions in the 1930's and 1940's led to the first great expansion of health care” for all Americans, as labor unions banded workers together to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers. In 1942, “the US set up a National War Labor Board. It had the power to set a cap on all wage increases. But it let employers circumvent the cap by offering ‘fringe benefits’ – notably, health insurance.” By 1950, “half of all companies with fewer than 250 workers and two-thirds of all companies with more than 250 workers offered health insurance of one kind or another.”

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BushCrimeFamily

Aug-23-13 6:17 PM

Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor unions like the AFL-CIO federation led the fight for this 1993 law, which “requires state agencies and private employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave annually for workers to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, seriously ill family member or for the worker’s own illness.”

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BushCrimeFamily

Aug-23-13 6:20 PM

Across the country, right-wing legislators continue their attack on labor unions, claiming that they are saving their states money. Yet in waging these anti-labor campaigns, these politicians are ignoring one very simple fact: unions were a major force in building and sustaining the great American middle class, and as they declined, so has the middle class. As CAP’s Karla Waters and David Madland showed in a report they first published this past January, as union membership has steadily declined since 1967, so too has the middle class’s share of national income, as the super-rich have taken a larger share of national income than any time since the 1920s.

This is not to say that declining union membership is the only factor that led to the growth of income inequality over the past 35 years. Yet, the correlation does show that the presence of strong labor unions tends to co-exist with a strong and vibrant middle class.

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promo61

Aug-23-13 6:20 PM

Anyone who wants to improve their station in life can do so. Those who want to work can. Playing the blame game is a snare that never turns you loose to realize your full potential. A nation of whiners we were not meant to be.

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benlofton

Aug-23-13 8:46 PM

Thoughtful, Your post shows that you know very little about unions, other than the films that many employers force workers to watch. Unions are most certainly not an external organization. They are made up of rank and file workers workers who unite to bargain with their employer. In no way does being a union member hinder advancement at work, but rather allows the workers to have a say so to ensure that advancement is done fairly.

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Thoughtful

Aug-23-13 11:12 PM

Mr. Lofton, I know much more about unions than you ever will.

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Thoughtful

Aug-23-13 11:14 PM

BCF. Where is Mr. Trumpka and Mr. Rogers In support of the coal industry??????????????????? Nowhere to be found.

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promo61

Aug-24-13 9:23 AM

To hear BCF and OLUH tell it, the world has moved past conservative ideals. We are encouraged to join the "new world" where progressives hold the moral, legal and ethical high ground. I would hazard to guess that tenet does not apply to liberal bastions like unions. BCF's multi-copy-paste diatribe includes several dates, none of which are in the most recent two decades. Now whose ideals are rooted in the past?

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turley

Aug-24-13 10:26 AM

Good point, Promo.....also unmentioned is the iron clad FACT that labor unions now represent less than 9% of the private sector workforce, and only about 12% of State and Government employees. For people who claim that conservatives are "dinosaurs", these boys are throwing lots of stones!

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BushCrimeFamily

Aug-24-13 2:25 PM

From 2000 to 2012, productivity in the U.S. grew by 24.9%. In the same period, wages declined or stayed flat for the entire bottom 60% of the wage distribution.

epi****/flatwages

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BigMike

Aug-25-13 1:10 PM

BCF wrote: From 2000 to 2012, productivity in the U.S. grew by 24.9%. In the same period, wages declined or stayed flat for the entire bottom 60% of the wage distribution.

Which only goes to point out that 1) Productivity gains are due to automation i.e. computers, robotics, high speed data communication etc. Wages declined in the bottom 60% because of an excess of displaced workers due to outsourcing and imports.

You and the EPI know or should know this. The fact is there is no market for high paid low-skilled workers, there never was.

The reason highly skilled workers earn more is because not everyone can do their jobs. So if some one wants to earn more they need to be better at what they do than the other guy. Unfortunately the low and even high skilled worker continues to face growing competition from automation, and a growing population.

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promo61

Aug-26-13 9:06 AM

Agree BigMike. The toothpaste is out of the tube, but liberals are trying to put it back in only because it serves to keep those in their base who will support their political agenda through demonization of conservative ideals. I would appeal to those who will listen that it is past time to cut bait, free themselves and embrace independent thought.

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jonetu

Aug-27-13 11:29 AM

Most people do not realize that most of the benefits they have are due to unions. The repulicans want these people to beilieve unions are now useless. Believe me. if the unions go away, your rights will slowly dwindle to nothing. No more overtime pay, no more paid holidays, no more 401k match, no more minimum wage, no more lunch breaks, no more work safety rules, no more family medical leave, no more Cobra....

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oluhjnb

Aug-27-13 6:24 PM

Republicans care about oil drilling, unwanted children, Bible printing and massive defense budgets.

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promo61

Aug-27-13 7:00 PM

BLAHBLAHBLAHCHRISMATTHEWSBLAHBLAHPMSNBCBLAHBLAHBLAHBUSHSFAULTBLAHBLAHBLAH

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turley

Aug-28-13 2:33 AM

jonetu: Unions now represent less than 10% of the overall US workforce......so you are implying that the other 90% are without these benefits you list???.....its 2013....time to give pay and benefits on the basis of merit and performance and not as the result of blanket contract, dont you think?

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oluhjnb

Aug-28-13 7:09 AM

FOXHANNITYLIMBAUGHBECKALLUSEYOUREARFORACOMMODE

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oluhjnb

Aug-28-13 7:24 AM

The New York Times has reported that union membership was highest during the 1950's. So when it WAS 35% OF THE WORKFORCE, 65% did not belong to a Union. Nice try turley.

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promo61

Aug-28-13 9:32 AM

Progressives won't believe it but there are conservative people who don't watch or listen to any of those shows. A prominent liberal trait is assuming everyone forms their opinions from talking heads on TV or radio like they do. It's just plain wrong, so now what ammunition will they use to disparage dissidents?

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