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Stakes are high in the US war on unions
By  Carmel Smyth  •  Posted on  February 22, 2012

US unions are lining up behind Barack Obama and the Democrats in this year’s presidential election, likely to fork over more than the $400 million they handed him in 2008.

At a union conference I attended recently in Washington, the battle cry was this: “There is a war going on, a concerted attack on union workers, and we are losing.”

Losing what? The right to work together to try to improve working conditions, to an 8-hour workday, to be paid fairly, to have hope of a pension and a medical benefits plan. All gains workers have fought for for decades.

The anti-union forces in the US are formidable, and very well financed. It is heart-wrenching to hear how rich CEOs in the US spend millions on political campaigns, effectively buying elections and promises of business-friendly and anti-union legislation.

Although there was a lot of disappointment that Obama didn’t pass legislation to make it easier for workers to join unions this term, there is also a sense the alternative is untenable.

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