Labor Under Siege

Corporate Media Portrays Labor Unions as Greedy Bastards; The Real Greedy Bastards Want to Bust the Unions & Force Down Wages until the World Is Truly Flat

First and foremost, at least from an American perspective, is the Chicago teachers’ strike, with nearly 26,000 teachers having walked off their jobs. Predictably, the teachers are being portrayed by the mainstream media as greedy (they’re overpaid already), callused (they don’t care about their students), and gullible (they’ve been whipped into a frenzy by their militant union). It’s positively stunning to see what the media are doing to America’s teachers. This once noble profession is being treated with outright disdain.

There’s also a strike in South Africa, involving 41,200 miners; Lufthansa flight attendants have hit the bricks; Olive Garden and Longhorn workers have sued their employers for wage violations; American Crystal Sugar workers have been locked out for over a year; a salt mine in Louisiana was shut down for egregious safety violations; and union activists in Bangladesh are under assault (a Bangladeshi union leader was murdered last year).

Clearly, global management feels it’s in the driver’s seat. And because they have so little to fear, they’re practically daring workers to put up a fight, utterly confident it the fact that moneyed interests will win in the end.

One could argue that the scariest part of all this is the apparent lack of support from the public. Historically, there have always been four components to a strike: labor, management, government, and the public. Each component played a role. While the government almost always sided with management, there was a time when the citizens sided with the workers. But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

I saw a Chicago mother on the news, plaintively asking, “What do I tell my daughter about why she has to miss class?” She was furious. “What do I tell her??!” she shouted. It was obvious her anger was directed at the teachers and not at Rahm Emanuel, the smug, bullying, mega-maniacal mayor of Chicago, who, more than anything, needs to have a couple of motivated pilgrims take him out behind the woodshed and beat the crap out of him (Note: we’re not advocating violence, only indicating that the only thing a bully understands is force).

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