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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Thursday, June 09, 2005 ::

    Crisis in the U.S. Labor Movement: The Roads Not Taken - by Elly Leary, Monthly Review
    Consider these few facts: The federal minimum wage of $5.15 has not changed in seven years; it is now 61 percent of poverty level. Forty-five million people lack health insurance; for those who have it, premiums have risen 33 percent and out-of-pocket expenses 49 percent, more than eating up most pay raises. Twenty-two of the thirty-one "red states" (those which voted for George Bush in the 2004 election) have right-to-work laws. Manufacturing jobs have declined 12 percent in the last several years, but unionized manufacturing jobs in the same period have declined 66 percent. Union membership is barely 13 percent. In the private sector it accounts for a smaller percentage of the workforce than in the 1920s, the period that has usually been identified as the low-water mark.
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