Posts Tagged ‘rationale of organized labor’

Working Up Some Indignation on Labor Day

It is true enough, then, that the subsequent move from serfdom to contract, towards a world where one only assumed voluntarily “the work of making productive” someone else’s land was a glory of Western civilization. But it is arguable that the feudal distinction between one’s own land – or workplace – and someone else’s was not so glorious, and it wasn’t reversed in the move from status to contract, in fact it became perpetuated. The union movement seeks to restore in modern workplaces not merely bargaining power but some of the stakeholder status pre-feudal workers had earlier enjoyed. Recognizing that unions seek to offset an ancient imbalance provides at least an argument for the indignation they seek to invoke against non-union shops.