Stewart Acuff

Jun 25

Worker Power

It is ironic and even funny to me how the rich and powerful can be so thin-skinned and nervous about holding onto to the vast, indefensible wealth and power they have. They’re trying to create their own massive oligarchy. They see any opposition as a threat to their efforts to destroy the world’s first democracy. There are three recent examples.

I got a call late last week from a reporter at the progressive magazine, In These Times, who is doing a story on a House of Representatives Member and a Senator from Georgia who are trying to move legislation to stop or outlaw “micro-unions.” I had never heard of micro-unions. I feel that they must be part of our long history of organizing workers, representing workers, and moving workers into action and motion in spite of the lack of majority support in a given worksite. After all, unions are not just instruments for collective bargaining and should not be constrained by archaic, ridiculous, and ineffective laws like the National Labor Relations Act. UNIONS MUST BE ORGANIZATIONS OF AND FOR COLLECTIVE WORKER POWER.

That’s what we did back in the 80’s when we founded the Georgia State Employees Union – SEIU Local 1985, which we eventually built to 7000 members in spite of no collective bargaining or representation rights. (I write about this effort in my book Playing Bigger Than You: A Life in Organizing).

Now the United Food and Commercial Workers are doing a great job of organizing workers at Walmart and acting collectively for justice across America. They are even planning a Walmart workers rights tour across America this summer. Now big, bad Walmart is suing activists like my friend, retired human rights activist Gene Lantz.

Fast food workers are organizing now in cities across America with support from union activists as they fight for more than poverty level wages.

Other unions are talking about other similar efforts against the worst employers in America.

Immigrant workers have been organizing worker centers for years now for worker power.

Odd how the most powerful assholes in America are frightened of workers standing up for themselves.


Photo source: Overpass Light Brigade

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