News Release

Janus Decision: Why Does Labor Keep Losing?

New York Times reports: “Supreme Court Ruling Delivers a Sharp Blow to Labor Unions.”

RICHARD D. WOLFF, rdwolff@att.net, @profwolff
Wolff is professor of economics emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and currently visiting professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. His most recent book is Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown. He is a contributing author to Living in a Socialist USA.

He said today: “The Janus decision is the latest in a long 50-year series of blows against organized labor. Organized labor agreed after World War II to play by the rules of a capitalist system that gave lip service to the right of workers to organize to improve their bargaining position with capitalists. But beneath the lip service was an endless program to weaken and destroy organized labor by direct legislative attack and by a massive, ongoing program of celebrating capital and capitalists (‘entrepreneurship’ ‘job-givers’ etc.) while demonizing labor unions. Organized labor could have met and defeated that program, but that would have required a close, working alliance between labor and the left (as exists in other countries) and advocacy of basic social change toward an economic system that prioritizes labor. To date, and with few exceptions, organized labor in the U.S. has avoided such an alliance and such advocacy. That avoidance was and remains a losing strategy as the Janus decision illustrates yet again.”

Wolff is host of the program “Economic Update” and founder of Democracy at Work.