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among their purposes. Labor unions made them divvy up so as to bring this about. So, the big loss here is not so much to labor unions as to the aspirations of most Americans to be at least middle class, something they want to claim as a birthright. The 250,000 jobs lost to Mexico are actually only a small symptomatic showing of a much bigger loss taking place. If we could redraw the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico \(as we these plants in this country, this would not raise total employment in the U.S. one quarter of one percent, and these would still be low-paid jobs. Even so, this number of jobs is not insignificant when we consider how Congress fell all over itself giving the keys to the Treasury to Lee Iacocca to help save a lesser number of jobs at Chrysler Corporation. This is the same Iacocca who insisted on rolling back wages and benefits of workers as a condition of saving their jobs and then came up grinning this year as one of the highest paid corporation executives in America \(well over two million bucks, not saying, in effect, “Well, that’s the American Way; it gives people something to aspire to.” If cutting back workers’ wages and enriching executives is the American Way to save jobs there is something pernicious about it, and no new domestic or international programs on the part of labor unions are going to stem it. Much of the problem here, and most of the impotence of labor unions to deal with it, results directly from the attitude that it is the responsibility of the unions acting alone to do something about the exploitation of workers. Here is an example: 40 years ago organizers for the garment workers unions were beating their brains out trying to. organize workers along the Texas border who sewed together materials that were cut to the pattern by highly skilled, unionized clothcutters in Manhattan, material that was airfreighted to Laredo with the finished garments then flown to New York and sold at a profit. The wage differential between New York and the Texas border was such that this operation was profitable despite the high cost of air freight. Good people expended much of their lives trying to organize those plants. But workers who took leadership roles in trying to form a union simply were not called to work anymore. An outsider looking in on the situation might observe that the unionized clothcutters in New York should have shown a little solidarity should have refused to cut cloth for a company that refused to bargain with its employees in Texas. Wish it could have been so. Had it been, we could talk more realistically now about how U.S. unions might do more to raise living standards elsewhere in the world. You see, 40 years ago it was made unlawful by the Taft-Hartley Act for a union of clothcutters in New York to assist in such manner a bunch of women bent over sewing machines in Laredo. This is still the law. And the Thou Shalt Nots in law are always enforced more than the Thou Mays. The restrictions placed on the concerted activities of workers far outweigh their lawful rights to form a union. Since the passage of the Manford Act in Texas in 1943, which was touted as the very first so Since 1943 there has been a cascade of laws that whittle labor unions down to size. called right-to-work law, there has been a cascade of other laws to whittle labor unions down to size, size being the smaller the better. THE LABOR MOVEMENT for many years was the big engine of change in this country. It provided the muscle and energy to help get public schools, free textbooks in those schools, the kids out of the coal mines, an end to debtor’s prisons, the first public sanatoriums for medical indigents, our right to elect U.S. Senators, worker’s compensation for injuries on the job, the 40-hour week, the eight-hour day, time and a half for overtime, paid holidays, vacations, sickleave, jury duty, funeral leave, coffee breaks, hospital and medical insurance, retirement programs and a slew of other things, including starting the first civil rights movement in the South years before the NAACP even set up its Freedom Fund. No one should be puzzled today about the faltering membership figures of unions, the inability of unions to organize all the unorganized, or that they are not more on the cutting edge of social change. This is what the fights on Taft-Hartley, Landrum-Griffin, Section 14b, situs picketing, hot cargo, right-to-work laws, NLRB appointments, and all the other esoterica of labor law was all about. Wasn’t anybody listening? From the time labor unions were considered conspiracies by U.S. courts, many labor officials have endeavored to make common cause and joint efforts countries. Their efforts go back over a hundred years and continue today. They began with an exhortation in a memorable manifesto issued in 1848 “Workers of the World Unite. . . .” Four distinct and disparate “Internationals,” world-wide organizations of unionists and politicos, traced their origins to those words of Marx and Engels, and they each left their mark on the world. That they were characterized as socialists and/or Marxists should not be used to brush their efforts aside. After all, the president of France is a socialist, a Marxist, as have been a goodly part of the heads of state of the countries in the NATO alliance since we picked our allies in western Europe. In all the warring against Marxist-oriented governments elsewhere in the world, not even Reagan has choked up over this. Although all union leaders must of necessity deliver here and now to their membership at the local level, even those who were not politically motivated have long acted with a sense of international purpose. Consider that Sam Gompers died in San Antonio on his way back from a conference of the PanAmerican Federation of Labor in Mexico City. Or that the Geneva-based International Labor Organization is the only agency from the League of Nations still to survive. Or that union leaders set up the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions after World War II, as well as the Joint U.S.-Mexican Trade Union Committee, the various secretariats to assist oil workers, plantation workers, maritime workers and a host of others. There are fraternal delegates from unions throughout the world at every AFL-CIO convention and those of many of its affiliates. Some unionists risked their necks carrying illegal funds to striking workers in places like Franco’s Spain. These are not mere pro forma happenings and were not CIA-inspired, as have been some other ventures on the part of labor leaders more publicized in the liberal press. But they have never been enough to accomplish the goals they set for themselves. The failures and spotty accomplishments of these efforts suggest that if we are to make progress soon \(like next static or declining job benefits, of runaway or emigrating plants, of a trade balance that has the country living off its credit card, of heading off a trade war that can set the industrialized economy of the world back a generation, and of doing something to improve the lot of foreign workers then we better come up with something new. And there_ 12 JUNE 12, 1987