There was a time when men worked for less than a fair wage, hours on end, in conditions so unsafe that a man a week would perish at his station, children were put into slave labor situations and women faced far worse. When asked if those conditions could be changed for the better, the power structure responded with harsher rules enforced by Pinkerton guards and company spies.
It was the unions that organized and, through protest, sometimes violent, slowly changed the working man’s life for the better. Because of those efforts, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, child labor laws, work-week rules, overtime rules, equal pay, the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and many other regulatory agencies were adopted into federal law.
What Post-Gazette columnist Ruth Ann Dailey doesn’t understand is that unions, as most liberal causes, have an inherent planned obsolescence. Once the good is achieved their need is abated (“It’s No Summer of Love for the Flustered,” July 28). Now she stands at the coffin of unionism watching them drive every nail at the theoretical grave dug by the founding fathers of the American union movement.
She doesn’t see that her celebration of the Hobby Lobby decision coupled with her constant shrill complaints against the rules and regulations that keep the work force hardy and hale will ultimately recreate the need for unions to once again come to the defense of workers being mistreated by their employers.
Without the federal regulations, workers demanding, at least for now, a health care plan that includes contraception will have no other avenue to organize and protest their cause and possibly achieve their demands, except for a union.