Labor Unions Must Fight Globalization Or Become Extinct

1617 words - 6 pages

“Two world wars [along with Roosevelt’s] “New Deal” had indeed, made government big.” (Moody, 2007, p. 114) Government became “big” because of its controlling interest in business and labor. The reason for this interest is that government was dealing with a failed economy and had two world wars to contend with. These wars required a continual supply of food and supplies to be produced. In order to guarantee supplies to be free of interruption, it required government gaining control over every major industry and labor in order to keep harmony. Along with this harmony, it became instrumental in creating the steady supply of profits for businesses. It also helped in producing wage equality and social services for workers. With government control over businesses, unions began to build strength.
By the 1950’s, government control over business and labor was relinquished. Unions found they had emerged with more members than anytime in U.S. history. However what went unnoticed was the empire of diversified investments businesses had built with their profits, and the power they were about to impose. With this in mind, unions should have realized this would become the start of a steady downward spiral for labor.
Next come the 1960’s and 1970’s bringing with it yet another war as well as producing drastic changes in the political arena which resulted in “economic stagnation.” Some of the other factors that helped in contributing to economic stagnation was “the cyclical end of the long post war boom . . . competition from other Capitalist states like West Germany and Japan, [as well as the] domestic class struggle that put pressure on corporate profits.” (Fletcher & Gapasin, 2008, p.41) With all these changes happening “Big” labor soon realized they were on their own to defend themselves and without government control they had lost part of their support against business. They also realized because of the changes in politics, government was not going to intervene. Labor was losing power.
As the 1980’s entered little did labor know politics was about to take on yet another whole new personality. This personality was brought in with the incoming of the new President Ronald Reagan; he had his own idea of operating the country on neoliberal politics. This form of politics has continued and is still operating today. Not only is it creating havoc with the U.S. labor force, but has moved across International borders virtually destroying everything it touches. “Organized labor [finally realized they were] technically and theoretically unprepared for Reagan’s assault. [Up to now labor has been] unable to conceptualize . . . or even generate the social force necessary to resist [this] new conception of labor relations.” (Fletcher & Gapasin, 2008, p.46) In order for labor to defend itself against neoliberal globalization, certain questions must be answered. What is Neoliberal Globalization? Why is Neoliberalism causing the labor...

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