Under attack by Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin, Indiana, and other states, organized labor is in danger of losing influence over everything from wages and benefits to the size of public school classrooms. Public-sector unions managed to hold steady as their counterparts at private companies withered in recent decades. But with states facing a weak economy, high unemployment, and busted budgets, it's "open season" on unions. Could this be the end of unions as we know them? (Watch a Russia Today report about unions' survival)
Yes, unions might be doomed: In this bleak economy, many people resent the stress-free job security and generous pensions unionized government workers enjoy, says Charles Wallace in Daily Finance, all of which is fueling the "anti-union rhetoric." If the union-busting lawmakers in Wisconsin and elsewhere get their way, the entire labor movement faces "potential starvation of funds and a sharp drop in membership."
"Beyond Wisconsin, this could be the end of labor unions"
Unions will only shrink, as they should: Unionized government workers "deserve some level of protection," says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. But the time has come to end the "plush deals" that are bankrupting state budgets. "Too much power in the hands of unions has led to a tumor in the body of American capitalism." It's time to rein these unions in.
"Confusion on public vs. private unions"
These attacks will help unions — and Democrats: Republicans are targeting unions to please their corporate and Tea Party "masters," says Markos Moulitsas in The Hill. It won't work. "These ham-fisted efforts to bust unions have awakened a sleeping giant." The people who depend on unions will swarm to the polls knowing that their livelihoods and benefits are on the line, and that the only way to protect their interests is to vote Democratic.
"War on labor will backfire"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- The myth of the stay-at-home dad
Subscribe to the Week