After six days, LA teachers settle their strike, wringing huge concessions out of the school district


Originally published at:


Everywhere we go-o!
The People want to know-o!
Whooo were aaa-are!
So we tell them:


Congrats to the teachers!


Terrific news! Happened b/c unions.




Golly we should have invented unions years ago! /s


Never underestimate the power of collective action and bargaining. This is why unions have been gutted in so many countries. Once they reach a certain percentage of membership in their sectors they can be hugely powerful.


But…but…what about their Right to Work? Why do you hate capitalism? /s


Proud to be a Union Man:


Good on them.


Crazy. It’s almost like workers uniting for a cause can improve their standing. I never would have thought that was possible.



Capitalism:. Cap-your-wages -ism


Only in America would unions stop someone from working. At least that I know. What I’m used to from Norway is that you’re free to join or not join the union that represents your profession. If there’s more than one you’d pick the one that’s present at your workplace. If you don’t join you’ll probably still be covered by the collective agreements the unions bargain for that workplace, but if you get treated badly you’re on your own. Most people join. It’s a solidarity thing, though diminishing. People forget how powerless they are without unions.

But the union has absolutely no power to stop you from working. That’s between you and your employer.


It’s absolutely insane and Orwellian language, but it’s been the standard anti-union line in most of the U.S. for decades.


So can an American union actually stop someone from working somewhere?


Only in the sense that some shops and trades were once union-only, usually in industries where management was known to be exploitative (e.g. railroads) or in trades where certain professional training standards were demanded (e.g. electricians) or where both conditions applied (e.g. coal mining).

Historically, some unions were also heavily enmeshed with organised crime, which would sometimes use the power of the union to punish workers the mob didn’t like or reward cronies. But that was mostly cleaned up by the time the BS “right to work” term took hold.

By Libertarian pretzel logic, all that turned into “unions aren’t letting people do the work they want to do.” Which was really a cover for “waaahhh, workers’ bargaining positions are getting too strong in comparison to corporate management.”



Yeah that basically confirms the impression I had. Thanks for the clarification.