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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »

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Joshua DeVries has commented on (1) product.

Reviving the Strike (11 Edition) by Joe Burns
Reviving the Strike (11 Edition)

Joshua DeVries, January 1, 2013

Joe Burns does all of us a great favor through this book. For way too long, unions in the US have thought they could concede their way back to strength. The kindest assumption is that union leaders believed that unions were too weak to stand up to corporate America and we workers had to bide their our time until unions somehow became strong again. The unkind assumption is that union leaders were simply lazy, in bed with management, or both, and is certainly true in some cases.

Regardless of which option is true, the result has been the same. Workers, union and non-union, have been losing ground for decades to owners and managers. The popular solution in today's media is for non-union workers to turn on union workers, since union members have not been reduced to quite so low a state, although they have taken many serious blows.

Burns presents another, more logical, solution. If workers and unions are to regain their strength, they have to work for it, and the main tool in our toolkit is the strike. We have to be willing to use it. This doesn't mean we are foolhardy about it - a successful strike requires planning and preparation - but to continue to hope that someday, for some reason, management, government, the Democrats, that someone else will solve our problems for us, is sheer lunacy. The only way for unions and workers to regain their ability to defend ourselves is to fight back. Not with bottomless donations to Democrats, not with lobbyists, but with the strike.

Not only is it the only way to stop union concessions, it is the only way to return to the days when non-union workers looked up to unions with respect. It is a risk to agitate in a non-union workplace. If we expect non-union workers to take that risk, there has to be a clear reason why. We have to be inspiring, and the way to do that is to stand up and say, "no more". During the 1997 Teamster strike against UPS, the Teamsters won the respect of the working class in the country by taking a hard stand against low-paid, part time jobs. If unions want the large majority of workers who aren't in unions to look to organized labor to help them make gains, then we will have take a page from the old union playbook and look back, and forward to the strike once again. Thanks to Joe Burns for making an eloquent case to US labor.
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