Tuesday, August 7 was historic for working people in Missouri. Wealthy corporate interests tried to use their money to rig the system in favor of the 1%. But Missourians rejected the cynical power grab by an overwhelming 2-1 majority. Something big is happening with America’s working people—something that will bring change—and last night was just the latest evidence of this groundswell.
In a comprehensive new report, How Today’s Unions Help Working People, EPI researchers detail how collective bargaining plays an essential role in today’s labor market, by raising working people’s wages and supporting a fair and prosperous economy as well as a vibrant democracy—and how workers’ freedom to join together and bargain with their employer is under attack.
As right-to-work laws proliferate, it’s worth remembering that they originated as a means to maintain Jim Crow labor relations in the South and to beat back what was seen as a Jewish conspiracy. No one was more important in placing right-to-work on the conservative political agenda than Vance Muse of the Christian American Association, a larger-than-life Texan whose own grandson described him as “a white supremacist, an anti-Semite, and a Communist-baiter, a man who beat on labor unions not on behalf of working people, as he said, but because he was paid to do so.”