Last week, the clerical workers at the Port of Los Angeles went out on strike. So far, the longshoremen have honored their picket line. As I'm writing this, I'm listening to KNX all news radio. The station is running an unscientific text poll. "Who do you blame for the strike? The clerical workers or their employers?" So far, 80% of respondents blame the clerical workers and 20% blame the employers.
For the new labor movement to make real progress in its fight for social justice, it has to convince the general public that it makes sense to support labor over management. Most of us look at the world around us and ask, "How does this affect me now?" Fewer cheap Chinese toys for Christmas may make the kids unhappy, but in the long run, higher wages and job security is good for everyone. And sooner or latter, those kids will be out looking for work.