Thursday, July 09, 2020

Fight Racism - Join The Union

 The American Journal of Political Science notes that union membership reduced racial resentment among white workers and made them more likely to support policies that benefit black Americans.

 Unions offer the prospect for multiracial organizing and the pursuit of collective gains. The greatest beneficiaries of these gains are brown and black workers, particularly women, but they’re widely felt. Including both wages and benefits, unionized workers earn about 28% more than their non-union peers and have far greater job security.

The approach of generations of labor organizers hasn’t been to deny privilege, but to bind people together in a common project. The white privilege they acknowledge is a relative, not absolute, one; they argue that all workers, of all backgrounds, will benefit more from the construction of labor unions and a welfare state than from existing racialized capitalism. There’s a reason why civil rights activists such as A Philip Randolph fought to organize black workers into unions and helped turn once racist and exclusionary labor federations into the vehicles of anti-racism they are today.

Rebuilding a crumbling US labor movement will not be easy.

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