The thing that made the west coast and the North good for blacks leaving the Jim Crow South from World War I to the ’70s was the union. Now, blacks are leaving failed cities in the west and north, going to cites that have no unions or weak unions. The cities that gave blacks great political power had great unions and as the unions lost power and jobs disappeared, blacks have had to go back to the South and work for less.
Blacks need strong unions for job protection and fair treatment; I have had too much experience to believe differently. But the cities that have failed all have been cities with a public-sector union that was strong enough to elect people to office that ran things in the ground trying to keep the union happy.
We must find ways to protect job rights without having unions that make it impossible for a city or company to do the best thing for the good of all. We have a fine example of unions working for the good of all: the Chicago teachers and the NFL referees.
We need to get behind the workers and union at American Airlines and make things work for the good of all. Because of the public attention in both the teachers and the referees’ cases, the leaders on both sides did what made sense to work things out.
Government officials must stop the union busting and get the people involved to make things happen for the good of all.