There is renewed energy in the labor movement. Polls show American support of unions is growing, the data shows union members are paid more than non-union workers, and more and more there is a belief that corporations are taking advantage of employees in an effort to pocket even more profits.
Big business is getting wise to these changing winds as well. And they're doing all they can to clamp down on it before they lose control. In some instances, that means even creating their own fake unions so they can trick workers into accepting lower salaries. The New York Times details one such case in the carnival industry:
[W]hen a new union signed contracts with dozens of companies that operate at fairs and carnivals, it seemed that a group of workers long considered exploited had found a new ally.
Labor advocates, however, have since charged that the new union was really a stalking-horse for industry, not a champion for laborers, many of whom come from Mexico. And instead of demanding that companies pay the carnival workers more, the advocates say the union deals assured the employers they would not have to do so.
Several officers of the union, the Association of Mobile Entertainment Workers, also had close ties, it turned out, to two businessmen — one in Texas, the other in Mexico — who have long supplied carnivals and fairs with itinerant Mexican workers.
- Press Associates contributed to this report.