If you haven’t already read the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) report about the efforts to undermine labor unions and the wages of workers then you should.
In 2010, fire fighters and the labor community fought against unprecedented attacks against workers’ rights to bargain collectively, organize, collect dues and plans to change their hard-earned pensions.
EPI’s report written by political economist Gordon Lafer traces the roots of the attacks and sheds light on the corporate agenda behind negative legislation.
According to the report, the champions of anti-union legislation often portrayed themselves as the defenders of non-union workers whom they characterized as hard-working private sector taxpayers being forced to pick up the tab for public employees lavish pensions.
However, the report says it is clear that the attack on public employee unions was a broader agenda in efforts to cut wages and benefits and erode working conditions and legal protections for all workers.
All of it was a unified, well-organized, national effort to advance a corporate agenda over workers politically.
Public employees became a favorite target of policy makers when they wanted to balance the budget during the height of the fiscal crisis in 2010-2011 and EPI’s report finds there were no dramatic increases in compensation for workers that resulted in the financial breakdown.
EPI finds the attacks on public employees these last couple of years in the name of fiscal austerity becomes clear that restricting the rights and compensation of public employees is only one component of a much broader agenda aimed at transforming labor standards across the economy.