Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Anti-Union Model

There seems to be a common connection between Republicans and Unions. They hate them. Forget the fact that the average union worker makes 10 dollars more on the hour than a non-union worker, or 80% of workers in a union have free health insurance compared to just 49% of workers not in a union, or the fact that 68% of workers in a union have a retirement pension compared to just 14% of workers not in a union. ( ;

Just analyzing labor union and worker's rights policy, the Republicans have always tried to shape foreign nations into an anti-worker nation.

In 1953, a CIA led coup under President Eisenhower's reign ousted the pro-worker right's President - democratic elected Mossadegh and installed the Shah of Iran. In short, the Shah was a ruthless dictator who killed leftists, socialists, communists, and those of Mossadegh's Tudeh Party that supported labor rights. Needless to say the Iranians haven't been big fans of the United States since.

In 1973, another CIA led coup in Chile under President Nixon's reign
ousted and killed President Salvador Allende and installed Dictator Augusto Pinochet. Besides the fact Pinochet tortured 30,000 communists and Marxists, he ran the economy in Chile based on Milton Friedman free market principles. He trampled over trade union rights, abolished the minimum wage, and privatized almost everything. Sounds like something the modern U.S Republicans wish they could do, eh? As a result of Pinochet's free market obsession, 45% of Chile residents were living under the poverty level in the 1980s.

More recently, President Bush's war in Iraq is nothing short of what Bush would want in a nation. Although he isn't the Prime Minister in Iraq, it seems that Iraqi workers are experiencing what us Americans witnessed throughout the late 1800s into WWI and WWII - more strikes, sit ins and protests.

New collective bargaining agreements need to be enacted to protect the workers of Iraq from falling wages and poor working conditions. Union benefits will not be earned so as long President Bush has a stake in Iraqi policy. Do you think someone like Bush would support trade unionists in Iraq when he doesn't even support trade unionists in America?
President Bush's direct record with labor unions is disgraceful. In 2005, he tried to remove collective bargaining rights in the Department of Homeland Security, but more recently he signed an Executive Order which denies new employees at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to join a union.

Although those are just a few examples of Republican relationships with labor unions, those particular examples show at which costs they will go to impose their pro-corporation, anti-worker policies.

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