The Electrical Worker online
October 2015

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Unions Rising

We all know this economy puts the screws on working families. Something that seems to be forgotten is that this is not an act of God. Laws written by people run the economy, not the laws of nature.

The recessions and financial crises of the last decades have created an upside-down waterfall of money to the already rich. It is a crazy thing, a waterfall that goes up, but the rich and their powerful friends have been trying to convince us that it is normal.

You have to say they had some success. Many Americans support politicians who have been eagerly tearing down the economy our parents and grandparents built.

All of us in the organized labor movement know what makes workers better off: a collective bargaining agreement between a company and a unified workforce. You know who is catching on? Everyone else.

In an August Gallup poll, 60 percent of Americans approved of unions, up from 48 percent seven years ago. Only about one-third thought unions should have less power than we do today.

Not surprisingly, in an economy with little promise for millions except the children of billionaires and millionaires, the younger you are, the better a union looks to you. Among 18-to-34-year-olds, two out of three support unions.

Ten years of hard times has blown away acres of fairy dust. They are ready to listen to us, and more importantly, ready to speak for themselves. Every member of this union can be an organizer, and every working man and woman can get organized. So speak up. They are listening.


Also: Chilia: Our Founding, Our Future Read Chilia's Column

Lonnie R. Stephenson

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President