By Orion Daley
The other day, in NYC, in front of Credit Suisse at 11 Madison ave, a USW union member gave me two flyer's pertaining to a strike on the Potash Corporation .
Although far lacking in the full appreciation of the strike's purpose, I do appreciate that strikes for the most part have legitimate reasons. In fact, unions do also. When questioning the purpose of unions, I admire the work and negotiations President Theodore Roosevelt did for coal miners: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthracite_Coal_Strike . For the USW, I looked at the its histiry since the Carnegie Company mill.
I see that unions are a must in order to assure workers rights, where the Strike to this point in history has been the only means of achieving parity. But this parity can be further achieved by even more formidable means when necessary.
After reading the flyers, I made a suggestion to the strinking USW member.. It was something I thought about and published at http://unity2008.org a fews years ago. I am wishing to share this suggestion here as it applies to all Unions:
"For uniion members to become Share Holders in the publicly traded corporations that they serve". This will give one vote per share in the corporation at a minimum, and can also further empower unions. In fact, I believe this is could be becoming a practice with some unions: IUE-CWA and GE.
What I am suggesting is balance more than a controlling influence. In other words, a strike can prompt a share holder's meeting. When other share holders become more aware of the people who are the labor behind their share profits, then they truly become share holders. I believe that they would be more inclined to vote with labor interest, if there was union presence in the share holders meetings.
Another benefit as well is in owning shares of a profitable corporation. Additionally, a corporate board will see union members as stake holders in their bottom line. This means also that they are more assured of worker quality too. This though is not necessary in order to have share holder voting rights for unions. But it does though demonstrate a commitment to ownership that can instill other share holder's loyalty for the long term.
As an alternative, voting rights are also available through what is called securities lending in the institutional financial markets. Here a financial adviser could explain how to borrow a publicly traded stock for a period of time based on collateral. That collateral could be as an example, part of a pension fund. For an immediate understanding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Securities_lending
A union can consider using both approaches combined if in fact wanting a controlling influence. This influence, I would suggest to use conservatively. As in knowing of its potential, any corporate board would think wisely and fair about their policies prior to a vote. ie: - the next time a vote is made to have layoffs for profitability, instead union members can vote to replace the board. Consider, it is better to break even and retain jobs, than to create artificial profits at the cost of jobs. But as long as they are giving union members parity, I say, let them do their job to actually manage the business. I see that as their job !
I am a US Presidential Candidate, that will run again for 2012. But before then, Formidable Representation in Collective Bargaining can be achieved by having share holder voting rights for Unions. May I also suggest a further review of policies and recommendations toward unions at: http://unity2008.org/?BetterUnions.html .
The thinking is real and formidable as opposed to political lip service. Although my focus is the United States, what is recommended can be applied to Canada and other nations, besides the US.
For US union members, I hope that they also hold the Democrat and Republican 2008 Presidential Candidates to these same standards of measure. Further, that Fair Trade Policies and The Dignity of Human rights can be realized too over the next four years. These rights go hand in hand with labor rights
About Trade: many economist will argue that a weaker US Dollar enhances exports. I say nonsense to this when having parity through real Balanced Trade Policies: http://unity2008.org/?Page0.html#BT . Cheap exports bring cheap labor to our shores who lost their jobs. The President Elect can easily provide the Balanced trade policy for our nation. This will bring our jobs and industry home. Consider this instead of being off shored or competing with cheap labor from foreign visitors!
In addition to respecting the American worker, do also hold the President Elect accountable for the Dignity of Human Rights that has been absent these past eight years. May I also suggest that this new president offer a standard similar to: http://unity2008.org/?Page0.html#HR .
And when it comes to threats of draconian sub-quality socialized medicine or vacuous universal health care plans that actually benefit insurance companies more than the insured, may I also suggest instead what can be seen as a better alternative: to expect a quality health care service that is not at tax payer cost but which can effectively cover 300+ American citizens ; and infact, is also a tax exempt investment in our nation: http://unity2008.org/?HealthCareReform.html .
Investing in the health of American citizens should not be astranged for any President Elect as much as they should also want to provide a level playng field for our economy and labor rights.
This is how I see to empower the American worker.
Orion Karl Daley
Presidential Candidate for 2008
for the Strategic Future of our nation
Author - The New Deal ISBN: 1419670948
Balanced Party http://unity2008.org
New York, NY, USA -