Featured Image Above: The Samuel Gompers Memorial. From 1886 until the 1980s, most American unions rejected all forms of socialism, including communism. They followed the model set by Sam Gompers and the AFL in 1886. They rejected the British Labor Party, and the socialist/communist labor unions of Europe. (The words “socialist” and “communist” were interchangeable until 1919. At that time, the Russian socialist party used the term “communist” to show it had split from the English Labor Party, which continued to describe itself as “socialist”.) That is why American enjoy Labor Day on first Monday in September, while labor unions in the rest of the world celebrate the socialist and communist holiday of May 1.
In 1886, Samuel Gompers set up the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in America. The AFL wanted private companies to succeed, and for workers in those companies to share in that success. Communists and socialists wanted to overthrow that our constitutional system of personal freedom, individual rights and private property. Communists and socialists wanted society divided into classes. They wanted all employees and their families (proletarians or “working families”) to be members of unions to represent them. They wanted these unions to run the government and all major industries. In that same year of 1886, communists and socialist union provoked deadly riots and killed police in Chicago. Communists and socialists around the world later created the May First holiday to show support for those riots and to celebrate their labor union movement. American labor unions rejected that holiday and celebrate Labor Day instead with a long three day summer weekend in September.
1. American labor unions did not want the government and politicians to run the companies they worked for. They wanted to work for successful, privately owned businesses. American union leaders knew that their members workers earned more, worked less, were safer and enjoyed better benefits and working conditions when they worked for successful companies that took care of their customers and earned profits. They also knew that Americans enjoyed and wide choice of high quality, affordable products when they were produced by private companies in a free market.
2. Until the 1960’s, American Labor Unions did NOT represent teachers or other government employees. Unions that represent government employees are different from unions that represent employees of private companies. They are more like the aristocrats who rant most governments before America changed the world in 1776. In New Jersey, the NJEA teachers union and other public employee unions have far more power to determine their own wages and benefits than the elected officials who run the government. Also, these public employee unions put so much money and manpower into political campaigns that these unions often choose most government officials. They have made public school teachers and other government employees in these unions a class of royalty than employees. If unions in a private company demand and get pay that the company cannot afford, the company goes out of business, and everybody loses his or her job. However, there is no limit to what government employee unions demand and get. Unions for public employee have the absolute power to raise taxes and borrow government money to pay for whatever they demand. Today, most union members are government employees or work for companies that depend on government contracts.
3. Until 1995, most American labor unions supported limits on immigration, and enforcement of immigration laws. When America limited immigration in the 1920’s, there was a shortage of unskilled labor. Businesses were forced to pay higher wages, and invest in new equipment to increase productivity. That is what created America’s unique and prosperous middle class. All that changed when America dramatically increased legal immigration in 1965, and greatly increased both legal and illegal immigration since the 1980s. That caused widespread declines of real wages and the destruction of much of America’s middle class. Since 1995, most American labor unions have supported massive legal and illegal immigration, even though this hurts their members.
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