Wednesday, June 25, 2003

One Big Sector

Harold Meyerson ponders how a bunch of low-paid, immigrant, janitors are gaining health care benefits while the rest of America watches their health care benefits fade away or become unaffordable.
If this runs counter to everything you know about power in America, you probably have forgotten about unions. At minimum, you have forgotten about unions that organize so many workers in a single sector that those workers can win some real power over the conditions of their work.
Meyerson lavishes praise on unions like SEIU, UNITE and the Hotel and Restaurant workers who are working hard to organize and maximize bargaining power in their hard-to-organize sectors rather than go for the easy members like public employees (as some unions are doing.)