Labor mayday

Unions helped hike the minimum wage and make rent control a realistic goal in Sacramento

Barring scandal, Brett Kavanaugh is probably joining the U.S. Supreme Court.

And really, now that we’ve become so horribly inured to our rapey, racist, hush-money-paying, white-supremacist-defending, child-molester-endorsing, kidnap-legalizing president, what scandal could possibly swing two Republicans against their one true lord and savior—corruptible power?

Not gonna happen.

Here’s what is going to happen: The right-wing siege on Democratic ideals continues.

Coming fresh off Labor Day, I think back to last month’s Janus decision, which amounted to a gutshot for organized labor. In a narrow 5-4 opinion, the conservative wing of the high court ruled that unions can no longer collect agency fees from nonunion members. That may sound downright rational, but these agency fees fund contract negotiations that all workers benefit from, even nonunion ones.

Like everything the neocon illuminati is doing these days, this attack on an institution most Americans support amounted to a fourth-dimensional chess move that plays on 2018 America’s short-sightedness and longterm desperation. Working-class families desperately need money and are told over and over again how unions are bad.

But we in the capital have some pretty tangible examples of how whack that is. Exhibit A: minimum wage. Exhibit B: rent stabilization. Organized labor’s, well, organizing right here in Sacramento was instrumental to the first being raised statewide and to the second being a real conversation inside City Hall now.

While unions were already precluded from using agency fees to subsidize their politicking, Janus will hurt indirectly. It’s a slow bleed, one that regular Americans won’t notice until it’s too late. That’s its genius.