Letter to the Editor (New York Times)

Regarding "State of the Unions," by Krugman

December 24, 2007

Krugman errs when he says unions died when the corporations declared war on them. The unions committed suicide when they abandoned the reason unions once existed: workers and bosses have contradictory interests. Union executives adopted the philosophy of what was once know as "company unionism," the unity of business, government officials, and unions, in the national interest, long ago but the viewpoint gained power after World War II. Now it's the notion that drives every union. That idea serves union bosses who encourage members to see the union as a vending machine rather than a social movement of solidarity and direct action, setting up the union bosses like priests and the members the flock, but it does obvious harm to the rank and file who witness their leaders selling them out over and again, "to preserve the industry, to serve the nation, or for the good of the union."

Dr Rich Gibson
Emeritus Professor
San Diego State University