The question nobodyís answered is: So what? Organized labor has been on its deathbed for decades. Now itís a little more dead. We didnít care before. Why should we care now? Why is this front-page news?

Try this: Itís news because somewhere inside, we all know that the fate of the unions is a critical piece of the long-term struggle for the character of American society. Democrats have mostly forgotten that, but Republicans havenít. Thatís made the fight a trifle one-sided.
When a third or even a fifth of the American workforce was organized, labor was a powerhouse. You didnít see two-term Democratic administrations adopting policies and recovery plans that left out jobs. Even Republican administrations didnít dare. But that was then. Today unions are hardly part of the conversation. Today banks get bailed out and workers get benefits cut.

The absence is felt in countless ways. When unions disappear, pensions disappear. Job security becomes a distant memory. Pay stagnates. VW workers in Chattanooga said they didnít need the union because their jobs pay pretty well already. But auto-making jobs pay well because the industry has been unionized for the past 70 years. The more plants go non-union, the more wages decline.

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