Danger! “Shock Doctrine” Union-Busting on the Rise

Today, with unemployment continuing to hover around 10% nationally and some cities experiencing joblessness at rates higher than 25% (even as the government and the mass media suggest the economic recovery is well underway), corporate interests are using the heightened insecurity of working people to push through their own “economic shock therapy”: lowering labor costs in order to maximize profit. Central to this agenda is undermining, at every opportunity, workers’ right to organize unions and collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions.

A few weeks ago, members of the International Longshore Association shut down the largest port on the East Coast in protest of the fruit company Del Monte’s announcement that it will move its banana-and-pineapple shipping operation to a non-ILA pier across the river from Philadelphia. This shift could cost ILA Local 1291 in Philadelphia 200-300 jobs. The pier these jobs would move to is said to be advertising positions paying as little as $8.50 an hour with few benefits. The ILA port in Philadelphia’s wages range from $17 to $25.50 an hour.

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