The UAW Strike, here’s a thought

Most MSM news run with the “but how will it affect you, the consuming consumer?” angle. This brief essay by someone called Trapper John on Daily Kos has this important point to make about the UAW and its history:

The UAW was at the heart of the creation of what we know as the American middle class — more than any other force in society, it institutionalized the idea that workers should be entitled to health care, vacation, and a secure and comfortable retirement.  Before the rise of the UAW, blue-collar workers had no hope of securing their family and their future, and lived in constant fear of injury or layoff, with no prospect of anything resebling “retirement.”  The UAW changed that.  The UAW made sure that the workers at the base of the postwar boom got their share.  The UAW made it possible for a man like my grandfather, a brilliant guy from the Irish ghetto in Buffalo who never had the opportunity to study past high school, to send every single one of his kids to college.  And the victories won by the UAW bore fruit well beyond the homes of their members — because of the size and importance of the union, every UAW contract had a massive ripple effect.  Employers in other industries — even non-union employers — had to raise their standards to attract employees.  In short, the UAW allowed workers to get a taste of a life where leisure was possible, where relaxation and economic security were something that could be earned with hard work, and where their labor was treated with honor and dignity.

Hey, most everybody I know lives in fear of layoff with no $$ for retirement…not to mention huge debt. But hey, keep buying things, folks!

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