When fast-food workers walked off the job in several U.S. cities a few weeks ago, it was like a blast from the past. For one day, at least, American labor was flexing organizing muscles that have largely atrophied over the past few decades. And the prognosis has only been getting worse: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation in December limiting the power of unions in a state that once served as a symbol of union might, starting the countdown clock to the end of unions everywhere. The fight over Detroit’s financial future is a further sign of things to come: with municipal and state finances still a mess nationwide, even the liberally inclined but nonunion man on the street has begun to turn on his organized labor neighbors as the fight over which matters more—government employee pensions or basic city services—moves from the theoretical into the very real. Read More
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