Sunday, November 05, 2006
This past summer the United Steelworkers Union (USW) joined forces with the Sierra Club to try and use their combined power to persuade the government of the United States to raise wages and improve environmental conditions in the work place. They want coersion to be used from all levels of government. Together the groups have 1.6 million members. Their key issues are global warming, clean energy, fair trade, and reducing toxins. It is said that the Sierra Club can demand higher wages and that the USW can use dues from the members to lobby etc. Ultimately if the two combine their power they will have a good chance of getting what they want. Apparently both groups highly oppose free trade. Unions do not like the market competition that free trade would bring. They want government intervention. The environmentalists are concerned with what "economic development" would do to underdeveloped countries. As the author Ryan Ellis points out in his article "under-developed societies are usually environmental disaster areas. Improvements in air and water quality require the increased wealth that free trade generates." Unions are trying to get the government to transfer more of the "cleanup" funds from their hands to the Unions. Of course it's easy to see why they would join with the Sierra Club! Things like this just make me wonder if these organizations are really concerned with cleaning up the environment and getting people justified wages....or if they really just want money and power.