November 24, 2014


Union workers saluted at Black River Landing

Harry Williamson, the new Lorain County AFL-CIO president, speaks to a crowd during the annual Lorain County Labor Day Festival Sunday at Black River Landing in Lorain. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

Harry Williamson, the new Lorain County AFL-CIO president, speaks to a crowd during the annual Lorain County Labor Day Festival Sunday at Black River Landing in Lorain. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

LORAIN — Solidarity was preached at Sunday’s 19th annual Lorain County Labor Day Festival, as well as the first salvos of the fall election season.

Speakers said the rights of union and nonunion workers are under attack in Ohio and nationally.

“We need to keep up the fight,” state Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, told a crowd of about 400 people at Black River Landing. “We’re all in this together.”

Ramos said the increase in Ohio’s sales tax — the tax increased from 5.5 percent to 5.75 percent Sunday — will pay for tax cuts that predominantly benefit the wealthiest Ohioans. Ramos said the tax, as well as stricter voting laws around the country and congressional redistricting, are designed to give Republicans permanent majorities and are attacks on working class people.

Gov. John Kasich — who in 2011 supported a bill overturned by voters that would’ve stripped public workers of most of their collective bargaining rights — was portrayed by speakers as an enemy of working class people. “If this current governor returns for another four years, collective bargaining will be a thing of the past in Ohio,” said state Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria.

Lundy said Kasich wants to run for president and will do “whatever it takes” to get re-elected.

“And who’s going to pay the price? We will,” said Lundy who is running for county commissioner because term limits forbid another run in the Legislature. “The working people of Ohio.”

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols, who wasn’t at the festival, called Lundy’s comment’s “political blather” and denied the sales tax hurts poor and middle-income people. He cited praise for Kasich’s budget from Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, Ohio Association of Food Banks executive director. Hamler-Fugitt said the tax increase was a worthy tradeoff for Ohio’s new Earned Income Tax Credit, which reduces income taxes paid by the working poor.

Nichols was singled out for criticism by Cuyahoga County executive and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald. He accused Nichols of saying FitzGerald was unqualified to be governor, because unlike Kasich — a former Lehman Brothers executive — FitzGerald lacks a big stock portfolio.

Nichols denied making the remark. He attributed it to one of the leaders of the Ohio Republican Party.
FitzGerald, a father of four teenagers, said he and his wife, a teacher, juggle bills and aren’t rich.

“That makes me more qualified to be governor of Ohio, not less qualified,” Fitzgerald said to applause.
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, also drew applause. She quoted 1961 comments from the Rev. Martin Luther King in which he criticized “right-to-work” laws.

Federal law bans workers from being forced to join unions, but union dues can be automatically taken from non-union workers’ paychecks at unionized jobs in states like Ohio. The “right-to-work” laws, which recently passed in Indiana and Michigan and are in effect in 24 states, forbid taking union dues automatically out of paychecks at unionized jobs, effectively de-funding unions.

By receiving the benefits of union workers without having to pay dues, union leaders said workers have little incentive to join unions and shrinking dues diminish union influence. Passage of the laws in Indiana and Michigan are part of a decline in unions.

From historic highs of about 35 percent in the 1950s, union membership nationally plummeted to an all-time low in 2012 of 11.3 percent — 6.6 percent for private sector unions — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate was the lowest since 1916, the New York Times reported. The rate was 20.1 percent in 1983.

Kaptur said before her speech that the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would make it easier for unions to organize, won’t be re-introduced unless Democrats gain a majority in the House of Representatives, an unlikely prospect in the near future. Kaptur said she doesn’t blame President Barack Obama for not lobbying harder for the bill when Democrats had majorities in the House and Senate because he had “his hands full” with Afghanistan, Iraq and improving the economy.

Kaptur praised Obama for passage of the $80 billion auto bailout, which the Center for Automotive Research in 2010 estimated saved 1.14 million jobs. However, Kaptur said she voted against new trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea that the centrist Obama supported and signed into law. Kaptur said free trade laws exploit foreign workers and cost Americans jobs through deindustrialization. “It comes out of the hides of American workers in places like Lorain and Elyria,” she said.

Kaptur took office in 1983 but began representing Lorain in 2012 because of congressional redistricting by state Republicans. Democrats called it gerrymandering. Kaptur told the crowd of predominantly unionized workers that the fight for unionization and worker rights has been a long and bloody battle.

“It’s a heroic struggle, and you are part of that,” she said. “I am proud to stand with you.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or

  • CharlesMartel732

    If the unions want to survive they are going to have to take an honest look at the problems in their own ranks. And there are many. Two of the most glaring are the collusion and corruption of being joined at the hip of the democrat party.

    Why is that? Because the democrat party is the entitlement party. Even the unions are in line for government handouts. Take a look around the country. Look at Lorain, Youngstown, Toledo and a bit further up the road to Detroit. All union democrat entitlement towns. All dying or dead. Where are the jobs in those cities? The unions will say that the evil rich republicans sent all of the manufacturing jobs overseas. The unions will ignore the fact that they helped drive business overseas. They will ignore the fact that entitlements, receiving money from the government (in reality the taxpayer) with no expectation to work or earn it, has destroyed cities.

    And the union democrat politicians are still in charge. America is being bled dry by entitlements. If the unions want to survive they are going to have to tell the democrat party ‘enough’ handouts and corruption in entitlement America. The unions are going to have to stand on their own two feet as well and stop accepting handouts in the way of greedy pensions, healthcare, exemptions, and outrageous wages at the expense of taxpayers.

    The global economy will not support the American entitlement mentality. Sooner or later the economy will collapse under the burden. In union democrat entitlement cities (again, Detroit) it’s already happened.

    ‘The problem with socialism is, eventually you run out of other people’s money.’ Margaret Thatcher

    • Bob Owens

      It would be ok if you knew what you were talking about. Typical teapublican banter. Give us facts.

      • CharlesMartel732

        You want a fact? Detroit, exhibit A.

        Show me where I’m wrong instead of spouting the communist party put downs.

        • CharlesMartel732

          The communist party, another major problem that unions have. It is well documented how the American labor/unions have been infiltrated and taken over by Marxists. The union then sends 95 to 99% of their political contributions to Marxist politicians of the democrat party.

          The unions need to clear the communists and their tenets from their organization. The average union member is oblivious to this.

          • Alan Pugh

            The fact that you confuse American Democrats with Marxists, and Marxists with Communists, tells me all I need to know about your knowledge of the subject.

            Democrats believe in the regulated market; anyone who identifies as a socialist does not (with the exception of democratic socialists and market socialists).

            Communists are anarchists who believe in completely abolishing the state. You can’t say someone simultaneously supports eliminating the government AND expanding the government.

            The people are well aware of socialist roots in the labor movement. Eugene V. Debs picked up a million votes for president on the Socialist Party ticket a hundred years ago, and he was a strong force in the labor movement. Anyone who supports labor knows of Big Bill Haywood, a Socialist Party leader and founder of the IWW. Unions have their roots in class struggle, so it’s no surprise that class consciousness plays a role in their leadership even today.

            That said, you’d have to understand the relation between socialism and unions, and what role the socialists play in the organization of labor, before you make ill-informed comments equating all union workers with the far left, or pushing a view that it’s the workers’ fault that greedy owners are exploiting cheap third world labor.

            If you’re a member of the working class, you should be standing in solidarity with your brothers and sisters. An injury to one is an injury to all.

          • CharlesMartel732

            Thank you, it’s wonderful that a socialist union supporter showed up to bolster my point.

            Here you go union supporters, perspective from someone who is not a “teapublican.”

            These are the people who have infiltrated your unions and are leading you down the path to slavery.

          • Alan Pugh

            “Infiltrated.” You’re still feigning ignorance. The IWW and the ARU and other early unions were literally created by socialists. They didn’t just recently “infiltrate” anything. They’ve always been one section of organized labor.

            Organized labor also includes blue collar conservatives and professional moderates. That doesn’t bother me, because I like to think that “looking out for each other” is more important than party lines. I’d rather lift all the workers than have these petty squabbles about who is labeled what, and the statistics clearly show union membership is directly correlated with the success of the working class, regardless of party affiliation.

          • CharlesMartel732

            Oh yes, infiltrated. Without a doubt. Do you think the average union member thinks that his union is a socialist organization?

            I’m glad you showed up, even if it’s only for the benefit of a few readers. Especially those who think that saying things like this are some right wing conspiracy.

            Socialism is a plague on humanity.

          • Alan Pugh

            I’m not sure if it’s your reading comprehension or your desire to be right, but you keep ignoring half of my comments and cherry picking what you want to acknowledge. I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man. Have a nice Labor Day.

          • CharlesMartel732

            I didn’t ignore half of your comments, I simply didn’t read them. I utterly reject socialism. I believe my points, which have nothing to do with what you wrote, are valid, the average union worker probably has no idea that his union has been infiltrated by socialists. He has no idea his union dues are going to support socialist ideals and politicians.

            And, if the unions don’t remove the socialists from their midst they will continue to lose membership and their future dreams of upward mobility.

            Interesting to see now the unions are grinding their teeth about how socialist Obamacare is going to ruin their day.

            Let’s see if 0 gives the unions an exemption. Somehow I doubt it. He used the useful idiots to get it passed, now he doesn’t need them anymore.

          • Alan Pugh

            Socialist Obamacare? Strange… I still pay premiums to a private, for-profit health insurance company.

            I can now see that you don’t actually know what the world “socialist” means, and you simply use it as an insult for things you don’t like. This conversation is going nowhere fast.

          • CharlesMartel732

            For the moment your paying premiums to a private health insurance company. Harry Reid has finally come out and admitted you won’t be for very much longer.

            Anyway, do you think that most union workers realize their union is infiltrated by socialists? Or that their dues are used to promote socialist causes and politicians?

            I know what “socialist” means, it means the death of the west, of capitalism and freedom.

          • Alan Pugh

            Let’s just revisit this comment in two years to see if we’ve moved to a single-payer system like the rest of the modern world, or if we keep the for-profit private insurance racket propped up like you’re hoping for.

          • CharlesMartel732

            Well, with Boehner, McLame and a host of other republicrats rolling over faster than you can say “Bob’s your uncle” I won’t be surprised if it’s sooner rather than later.

            We can also revisit 2 years down the road after it is forced upon us to see the results. It doesn’t seem to be much loved in the rest of the modern world.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            “…and the statistics clearly show union membership is directly correlated
            with the success of the working class, regardless of party affiliation.” – Alan Pugh

            1. Does union membership guarantee success?
            2. Is a person incapable of success if they aren’t in a union?
            3. Isn’t the success of the working class more closely correlated to the strength of the economy?

          • Alan Pugh

            1. Nope

            2. Nope


            I understand where you’re coming from, but I never made the claims you posit in your first two questions. As for your third question, I believe the linked graph demonstrates it best: Middle class income as a share of total income has declined consistently as union membership drops and workers have less bargaining power.

            You’re correct, though, that the success of the working class generally depends on the strength of the economy, though I’d add the caveat that “the economy” can mean a lot of different things. Corporate profits and the stock market are both at record highs, but unemployment is up and wage inequality is at pre-Depression levels, so is the economy good or bad today?

            A strong working class has the money to participate in the consumer economy, thus driving demand and resulting in a continued need for labor, which drives a healthy economy. This is the basis behind the success of the New Deal.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Of course you didn’t come right out and make those first two claims, but the intent of your comment was clearly to lead one to that conclusion; if they aren’t capable of critical thinking.

            Pretty graph; ever wonder who comes up with those things? Ever wonder how truthful they are? What’s your definition of “middle class”? Do feel the second, third and fourth quintiles properly defines it?

            Do you have an example of where trickle-up economics has worked?

            Tell me how you feel about my concept: We have nobody but ourselves to blame for where we are because we are the ones buying foreign made goods.

          • Alan Pugh

            I’m going to work from the bottom up in responding to your post.

            You, me, and union workers will all agree that “buying foreign” is very problematic when it comes to supporting an American workforce. When we had the opportunity to purchase mostly American-made goods, we shopped cheap and we suffered for those choices. Even today, while many things simply aren’t made here, we miss opportunities to buy American-made goods because we’re consumed by the immediate price rather than the long-term consequence of our actions. You will get no argument from me on that, and I’m happy to hear you hold the same view. I hope that you put your money where your mouth is on this view.

            I’d imagine that by “trickle-up,” you are referring to demand-side economics, or Keynesian economics, as opposed to the Chicago school neoliberal policies of Reagan, Bush, Obama and the like. If this is the case, I’d point to the New Deal as a clear example of demand-side economics.

            With massive unemployment destroying the purchasing power of the public, FDR put people back to work rebuilding the infrastructure and developing new projects with public funds, which allowed them to spend money, which stimulated demand, which spurred production, which pulled workers back to the private sector to meet demand as public works projects died down.

            Bush 43 and Obama claimed to be trying the same method with their “stimulus,” but putting people back to work on public projects to stimulate consumer spending is a far cry from giving free money to banks for no good reason. Keynesian economics were replaced by Reaganomics in 1980 and the wealth gap immediately expanded… and today, with an opportunity to learn from our past, we keep pushing austerity over a New Deal.

            My personal definition of the middle class is that the term is a lie, a distraction meant to pit the working class against itself in a struggle to “reach the middle class” and to never turn their combined interests on the owner class. Then again, I’m not a Keynesian, I’m a Proudhon mutualist. I argue from the perspective of Keynesian economics only because this is a capitalist nation and reform is our only true option for lifting up the working class. Revolutions don’t happen when the people are propped up by social programs.

            And to your first point; my posts aren’t directed at people incapable of critical thinking. There is no helping the closed-minded and willfully ignorant.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            1. Yes, I do. And I go out of my way to stay clear of Walmart. I’m old enough to remember “Where’s Joe” even when the USWA was making fun of it.

            2. I don’t understand trickle-up to be the same as Keynesian. I don’t understand it because it isn’t so.

            3. The New Deal had a goal, improved infrastructure so American, industry, THE PEOPLE could move forward. Modern day Keynesians believe simply handing money out to people will pump up the economy. I’m not certain the $1 gets you $7 argument has been properly vetted.
            4. “Neoliberal”? I (and I’m sure they) prefer “compassionate conservative”.
            5. Again, New Deal, agreed.
            6. Hmmm, Mutualism. Capitalistic Communists?
            7. Yep

          • Alan Pugh

            Mutualism is heavily based on the theory that (private) property is theft, and that landlords and factory owners are a scourge that monopolize resources that should be free to all. In a mutualist society, homeless people and vacant homes wouldn’t coexist, because the problem would take care of itself.

            I’ve heard all the “impossible utopia” sentiments and stories, so I’m not looking to debate the merits. I was simply responding to your question.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            As I said, Capitalistic Communists. Mutualism is based on investors being successful, but never owning their just rewards. Unless of course, you’re in the clique. The rewards belong to the state. It hasn’t and doesn’t work anywhere.

          • Pablo Jones

            Walmart has no more products made out of America than any other company. They don’t have low prices because they don’t pay their employees well or because they get everything from China. They have lower costs because they have removed costs and fees from distribution, warehousing, and stocking.

            When you go into Kroger and see 4 sections of Tide, there are there because Kroger charged P&G to have that much shelf space. P&G makes up for that cost by raising their prices, which Kroger passes on to the shoppers. Walmart does not charge those shelving fees. So they can get lower prices for those products and sell them cheaper. You may see 4 sections of Tide at Walmart, but that is because that is how much Walmart wanted to buy and stock.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            “Walmart has no more products made out of America than any other company.” – Pablo Jones

            Purchasing 3rd world country goods is not good for America, anyway you spin it.

          • Pablo Jones

            So take your belief to the extreme, never shop out side of your own town. Only buy and use things from your own town. It won’t work out very well.

            Building up other countries through commerce means they have more to lose in conflict and war and stabilizes the country. The more stable countries the better of the world will be.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            I’m all for regionalism. Damn the rest of the world.

          • Pablo Jones

            “with an opportunity to learn from our past, we keep pushing austerity over a New Deal.”

            The government is pushing austerity like a prostitute pushes her virtue. Government spending is at record levels and no one is putting much effort to stop it, so you can’t say they government is holding back the economy by not spending.

            As you probably heard repeatedly the government can’t create wealth or value. It just takes from the private sector and redistributes it in multiple different forms. The private sector is what creates value.

            You mentioned that corporate profits and the stock market are both up. That doesn’t mean times are great for them and they are just hoarding their money. With the government spending trillions of dollars more than it has inflation is very real right now. But the economy isn’t handling it like it has in the past.

            There are several ways to deal inflation, absorb the increase in dollars by devaluing them, remove them, or increase the value of goods in services. In the past inflation (the weakening of the dollar value) was corrected with price increases. But that hasn’t happened this time around. What is going on now is all the extra money is being redirected into the stock market. That is driving up the stock market and making corporate profits look great. So with all the surplus dollars tied up we haven’t seen the devaluing of the dollar. But value is value and the true value of the dollar is above where it should be. So how will it be corrected? The money will have to be removed from the system. Since the surplus money is in the stock market it can be removed by a fairly large crash. A 50% crash will basically wipe out the surplus cash and rebalance the dollars value. In either of the first 2 choices the economy will suffer greatly.

            Government spending no matter how they do it, won’t correct the problems. The private sector can improve the economy by increasing goods and services, but they won’t do that until the government is cuts their spending and sets a solid steady plan that businesses can plan around. Right now they are just waiting and the bubble in the stock market is poised to pop.

          • Bob Owens

            Um-documented WHERE? The first thing Hitler did when he took over Germany WAS DESTROY THE LABOR UNIONS!!!!

        • Bob Owens

          Taxes and communism-teapublican calling cards. The problems in Detroit are complex, unlike your narrow mind.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Do tell…

            Seriously, do tell us about those problems. The podium is yours.

          • CharlesMartel732

            In case your not following along, there is a socialist gentlemen posting comments here going by the moniker of Alan Pugh. Mr. Pugh contends that his socialist pals are involved in unions and have been for quite some time.

            He seems to be on “your side.” So, do you agree or disagree with him? He won’t answer my two little questions so I will ask them of you. Do you think most union members know that there are socialists involved in the unions? Do you think most union members know that their union dues go to support socialist causes and socialist politicians?

            I find it amusing that you are denying there is communism in the unions while bashing the Tea Party since the Tea Party stands for smaller government, less taxes and fiscal responsibility.

            Don’t unions and their membership support smaller government, less taxes and government fiscal responsibility?

            Do you find it troubling that both the Communist Party USA and the Democrat Socialists of America, which both have ties to American unions, also supported Obama and hope to continue working for single payer healthcare, with the help of the unions?

    • Alan Pugh

      The problem with capitalism is that eventually you run out of labor to exploit.

      • Pablo Jones

        Who is exploited? No one is forced to work a particular job. If a person has the skills and experience that businesses want then they will be paid accordingly. If a person wants to better themselves they need to improve themselves.

        • Alan Pugh

          The definition of “exploitation” is to make use of a resource for one’s own benefit. In the case of capitalism, it is a business owner making use of the labor of others to enrich himself by confiscating the excess value of the workers’ labor.

          A wealthy man buys a factory. He now “owns” this property and equipment, but he can’t run it all himself, so he hires workers. They perform physical labor in exchange for pay. Each worker produces, say, $1000 worth of product a week. The owner pays him $600 and keeps the other $400 for himself because he owns the building. He is making use of labor for his own benefit.

          Say there are 100 workers. At the end of a year, each worker has produced $52,000 worth of product and has received $31,200 in pay. The business owner, who didn’t produce anything at all, collects over two million dollars in profit because he owns the means of production.

          Notice I didn’t call anyone names in this equation. I described it for what it is. Some people will like this system because they believe the business owner “takes risks” and deserves greater rewards. That’s fine. I happen to feel differently. I don’t feel he did two million dollars worth of work.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Alan, there are many problems with your example. First, there are very few businesses that profit 40% on their sales. Second, it can be argued that those workers, with nothing more than their daily sweat invested, are the ones exploiting the business owner, who has invested wealth.

            So your conclusion (2 million dollars) is laughable.

          • Alan Pugh

            Attacking the scale of an illustration is an obvious fallacy. The numbers were designed for simple understanding. If you’d like a more complex example, feel free to check out the Waltons’ balance sheet, as these siblings own as much wealth as the bottom 140,000,000 Americans combined, while the people doing the actual work inside Walmart stores and distribution centers are paid a pittance.

            To your other point, I’m sure it can be argued that workers are exploiting their owners by “only” giving their physical labor while the owner “sacrifices” wealth, but I’ve never seen such a point argued by any legitimate economic thinker. A certain co-founder of the Republican party summed it up well:

            “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” — Abraham Lincoln

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            1. $2 million opens more eyes than $2. The tactic wasn’t lost on me.
            2. Chrysler and GM, 2009.
            3. I enjoy pointing out history. (see attachment)

          • Alan Pugh

            Two points to keep in mind related to your graphic:

            1. I’m not a Democrat in any way, shape, or form
            2. Lincoln and Karl Marx were mutual admirers, and Republicans at the time were related to Free Soil and other left-leaning movements. Modern Republican ideology has completely reversed from its foundation, so the image is irrelevant to modern party lines.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            True Republicans are compassionate while being conservative. I’m not a Tea Party-er in any way, shape or form.

          • Pablo Jones

            Walmart pays their employees much better than many other similar stores.

            If I remember correctly that quote from Lincoln was in reference to slavery. Paying people the wages they agreed upon is the higher consideration compared to nothing. And considering labor costs eat up a proportion of the revenue that is much larger than the profits I don’t see any conflict in what he was saying.

          • Alan Pugh

            Lincoln was referring to wage slavery in additional to slavery as you know it. He was adamant that each worker should take home the full value of their labor rather than simply what was left over after capital took their cut.

          • Pablo Jones

            Complete definitions of exploitation includes unfairly using something for their benefit. In you example I don’t see anything being unfair.

            Did the business force those people to work there or did they post the available jobs? Did those people apply for those jobs? Did they agree to do those jobs for the stated price? Using your own definition you could say the workers are exploiting the business owner, since on their own their is a good chance they couldn’t do anything to generate $600 a week (If it were easy to do we wouldn’t have an issue with unemployment), so they are using the business for their own benefit.

            You don’t think he did anything to merit $2 million dollars? He provided 100 people a means to support their families with over $3 million dollars in wages.

      • CharlesMartel732

        Capitalism in America has done pretty well creating billionaires, millionaires and raising the United States of America to be the greatest nation on earth.

        Socialists, communists, progressives, etc. on the other hand can’t stand this and are doing their best to destroy it. Therefore they have to ‘redistribute the wealth’ cause class warfare and destroy those things which made this nation great.

        The unions need to recognize this and weed out the cancer.

        • Alan Pugh

          “Capitalism in America has done pretty well creating billionaires, millionaires”

          Yes, the system has done a tremendous job at redistributing the wealth upward, giving tax exemptions and other handouts to large corporations and allowing a wealthy elite to have direct influence over political decisions.

          “and raising the United States of America to be the greatest nation on earth.”

          I’m not challenging you on this, but I merely want to ask: Greatest at what? Health, wealth, education, housing, literacy, etc.? I’d like to research your statement and see if we’re truly #1 in whatever area to which you are referring.

          “Socialists, communists, progressives, etc. on the other hand can’t stand this and are doing their best to destroy it.”

          Progressives do not wish to redistribute wealth. They want to regulate the system to prevent exploitation of loopholes that allow certain folks to abuse the system. It’s reactionary capitalism, and it’s unrelated to socialism.

          “Therefore they have to ‘redistribute the wealth’ cause class warfare and destroy those things which made this nation great.”

          Class warfare is perpetual in a capitalist economy. The very definition of capitalism is a system in which a handful “own” everything of value, leaving the majority with only their own labor, which they must trade for income just to survive. On its face, that creates class division.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            I would posit that the working class has a lot more now (cars, homes, retirements, vacations, kids in college, etc.) than they had 100 years ago.

          • Alan Pugh

            I do completely agree with you that, on average, the quality of life for everyone has improved over the last 100 years. I would also posit that the labor movement, which was just beginning to pick up steam 100 years ago, is responsible for much of the improvements.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            I would suggest neither was more responsible. As the country grew, so did the opportunities for industry and labor. The point is, the only solution is or the country to grow. There is no other way out of this mess.

  • LookBackTwo

    obamacare…they forgot to mention they all support obamacare! My insurance just went up again to support obamacare. The unions are now ticked off they will be taxed for their cadallac plans to support obamacare and are trying to weasel out of participating. All of the democrate politicos excempted themselves and their staff from obamacare. hypocrits one and all!

    • Zen Grouch

      Wow! For someone who speaks in absolutes, you really haven’t a clue.

  • Jefferey

    I see the trolls are out early today.

  • Tommy Peel

    there is fierce opposition from corporate and Wall Street powers to an initiative that levels the playing field. the decline in the standard of living of working families is directly linked to the steady decline in union membership and gives workers a fair chance to organize and collectively for a better life.

  • Logdog39

    If strong Unions were the answer, Lorain, Elyria, Cleveland, Detroit etc. would be BOOMING ! Instead, what do we have ? The dying remnants of overpaid, and poor quality workmanship ! Even the most loyal Union member would not pay $28.00 per hour to have his garage floor swept !!! The Unions have priced themselves right out of a JOB !!!!

    • Heath J

      Winner winner, chicken dinner!

      Unions are overpaid and underworked here, and one needs look no further than the comparison of a Ford plant VS a Honda one. Both bolt cars together in the Buckeye state. Which one is doing better, and better to it’s employees?

      One can argue til blue in the face the causes of this, but the bottom line is that Union labor isn’t worth what it’s paid, and rightfully on the decline.

      Don’t even start me on the conflict of interest that are Public sector unions. Those Just. Shouldn’t. Be.

      Anyhow, we’re in a prime seat to watch them ( the Unions) fail, may as well enjoy it. Imagine hiring the best qualified person for the job in spite of those assholes?

      Welcome to the future.

  • Guest

    Unions are a joke.

  • bpbatista

    Unions — Doing for America and Lorain what they did for Detroit.

    At least Kaptur was honest and admitted that the so-called Employee Free Choice Act has nothing to do with improving the economy.

  • Daniel Sutter

    Its all about the union dues, the corrupt politicians, and the privileged people that knew somebody to get a overpaid job. If the unions were great, then the most unionized areas would be doing the best, i.e. Detroit. If the uaw was true to their beliefs then ford wouldn’t have a two tear pay schedule… If the unions weren’t greedy beyond belief the twinkie would still be union made. If the unions worked then 2/3 of the UAW retiree’s wouldn’t be paid for by the U.S. tax payer.
    Takes a lot of tax money to keep the unions going..

  • Daniel Sutter

    Its all about the union dues, the corrupt politicians, and the privileged people that knew somebody to get a overpaid job. If the unions were great, then the most unionized areas would be doing the best, i.e. Detroit. If the uaw was true to their beliefs then ford wouldn’t have a two tear pay schedule… If the unions weren’t greedy beyond belief the twinkie would still be union made. If the unions worked then 2/3 of the UAW retiree’s wouldn’t be paid for by the U.S. tax payer.
    Takes a lot of tax money to keep the unions going..