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What You Should Know / December 12, 2012 -- For most of the county, though, the confusion has to do with what "right to work laws" are and why they’re so bad. You can see it written on the faces of the morning cable news hosts on CNN and even MSNBC — trying to pretend like they know what "right-to-work" laws actually mean, flummoxed by the brazen Orwellian neologism of the phrase and sweating over the possibility that they might have to explain it. Lucky for them, and for most of the media establishment (and for the Koch brothers), few people even know what questions to ask about "right to work laws." All they know — kinda — is that they’re bad for unions, and that those unions seem to know exactly how bad things are about to get.

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  • 1. Mr. Bad  |  December 13th, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    “Maybe you’ve heard something about the Ludlow Massacre of the families of mine workers at Rockefeller’s mines in Colorado in 1913”

    Yeah, maybe I’m just gonna ignore what you wrote and make it seem like the bad guys in the old AFL were the root of all our problems. Myah!

  • 2. DM  |  December 20th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Howard Zinn would have been proud.

    While all your facts seem correct You have missed the point about the Wagner act. The reason for all the atrocities you list and for the Wagner act itself was that the unions were winning. If the unions had been losing the act would not have passed. It is true that violence decreased after the act but that can also be explained as a consequence of the constraint on organizing.

    As the act itself makes clear the unions were winning because they had finally developed the wildcat strike and the boycott. It would have been difficult to ban these two super weapons without giving something in return so the strike as an election process was developed.

    The established unions were willing to trade because they thought they had won and saw little hope of organizing the rest of the labor force. As we now can see this was a mistake. Even worse they conceded the organizing of trade unions for new industries.

    As you yourself point out, the current process makes organizing new unions almost impossible. The unions are jailed and the companies are fined. We would be far better off without the department of labor. Is it surprising that the abandonment of the unorganized workers and destruction of our current unions has led to a massive right wing reaction in America?

  • 3. T.B.  |  December 20th, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Right-to-work legislation is spreading. Indiana passed right-to-work legislation earlier this year. And now my home state of Ohio has a group of freedom fighters collecting signatures to get the right-to-work issue on the voting ballots.

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