‘Free Market’ Versus … Labor Unions – Junior Communists?

Go Lean Commentary

All Labor Unions are Communists, right?

Surely, there is no validity to this simple statement, right?

The truth is … “not so fast”! While the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a landmark for modern civilizations, it only came about because of the left-leaning interests of its advocates and proponents. (‘Left-leaning’ = pseudonym for communism).

Yes, there is a long history of Labor Unions and communism. Examine these facts, considering an American perspective:

  1. International Workers’ Day

… also known as Workers’ DayLabour Day in some countries[1][2] and often referred to as May Day,[3][4]is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement which occurs every year on May Day (1 May), an ancient European spring festival.[5][6]

The date was chosen by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886.[6] The 1904 Sixth Conference of the Second International, called on “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.”[7]  …

… some countries celebrate a Labour Day on other dates significant to them, such as the United States and Canada, which celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of September. – Source: Wikipedia.

[These countries choose dates other that May 1 to differentiate from socialist and communist regimes].

  1. Taft–Hartley Act

The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, better known as the Taft–Hartley Act, is a United States federal law that restricts the activities and power of labor unions. It was enacted by the 80th United States Congress over the veto of President Harry S. Truman, becoming law on June 23, 1947.

Taft-Hartley was introduced in the aftermath of a major strike wave in 1945 and 1946. Though it was enacted by the Republican-controlled 80th Congress, the law received significant support from congressional Democrats, many of whom joined with their Republican colleagues in voting to override Truman’s veto. The act continued to generate opposition after Truman left office, but it remains in effect.

The Taft–Hartley Act amended the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), prohibiting unions from engaging in several “unfair labor practices.” Among the practices prohibited by the act are jurisdictional strikeswildcat strikes, solidarity or political strikes, secondary boycotts, secondary and mass picketingclosed shops, and monetary donations by unions to federal political campaigns. The NLRA also allowed states to pass right-to-work laws banning union shops. Enacted during the early stages of the Cold War, the law required union officers to sign non-communist affidavits with the government.

The amendments required union leaders to file affidavits with the United States Department of Labor declaring that they were not supporters of the Communist Party and had no relationship with any organization seeking the “overthrow of the United States government by force or by any illegal or unconstitutional means” as a condition to participating in NLRB proceedings. Just over a year after Taft–Hartley passed, 81,000 union officers from nearly 120 unions had filed the required affidavits.[11] In 1965, the Supreme Court held that this provision was an unconstitutional bill of attainder.[16]Source: Wikipedia.


This history helps us to appreciate two things:

  • Principles and proponents of communism have been embedded in the history of labor movements since the beginning of the quest to reform the workplace for more workers’ benefits.
  • The efforts to monitor and mitigate advances of pro-communists have been promoted as an opposition to labor unions themselves.

This is why this discussion is so important.

The Caribbean must examine its governing-and-economic principles. The most successful models in the history of mankind has been associated with the adoption of Free Market options. Yet, all the most successful countries employ a hybrid of Free Market and Communism-Socialism-Central-Control.

This is a complicated subject to master. But master it, we must.

Think of these line items of occupational progress:

  • 8-hour work-day
  • 40-hour work-week
  • health insurance
  • sick leave
  • workers compensation
  • tuition reimbursements
  • gender protections
  • minority empowerments.

The summary from the historic review is succinct: the progress that the labor movements have enjoyed have only emerged because of their communist advocacy.

This is the continuation of the series on Free Markets Versus… . There is wisdom to this strategy of treating workers as consequential stakeholders in the production process; they are not invisible and disposable. So we must consider these lessons. This submission is entry 5-of-6 of the full series cataloged as follows:

  1. Free Market Versus: Communism – Can they both co-exist?
  2. Free Market Versus: China – Two systems at play in ‘Words and Actions’
  3. Free Market Versus: Socialism – Prevalent in the Caribbean
  4. Free Market Versus: Cooperatives
  5. Free Market Versus: Labor Unions – Junior Communists?
  6. Free Market Versus: Common Pool Resources – Simpler Cooperation

In this series, reference is made to the need for a comprehensive roadmap for elevating the societal engines of the Caribbean member-states. It seems that the dissent to Free Market capitalism has been good in itself. Right-leaning extremes can be bad just like left-leaning extremes.

We need the perfect balance!

Labor Unions tend to be early adopters and early advocates. So there is a place for Labor Unions in the roadmap to elevate the societal engines in the Caribbean. This is the focus of this commentary, and for the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean, a roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The book presents one advocacy (Page 164) specifically focused on labor relations, entitled: “10 Ways to Impact Labor Unions“. These “10 Ways” include the following highlights, headlines and excerpts:

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
This treaty allows for the unification of the region into one market, expanding to an economy of 30 member-states of 42 million people. The CU is a reboot of the economic engines of the region resulting in the creation of 2.2 million new jobs after 5 years of accedence. Jobs mean labor unions must be part of the discussion and part of the equation. The labor unions in the region have the potential of being part of the solution, as the CU advocates a “meritocracy” rather than seniority. For unemployment, the CU envisions the Ghent System with “Union” management powered by CU systems.
2 Labor Unions and e-Government

Under the CU plan, trade/labor unions will have access to e-Government services and functionalities, (same as Foundations). Therefore, the Unions will be able to access online account management and transaction processing systems to review, request CU services on behalf of their members. They will have the tools to service their charters.

3 Expertise Certification
4 Community Ethos – Automation & Partnership

The CU’s mission is to level the playing field for global competition by fostering and deploying technology to the fullest extent possible. Technology and Labor do not also align in objectives (think: The Legend of John Henry). But there are case studies of successful adoption of Internet & Communications Technology (ICT) embedded in the quality processes to maximize the outputs of the labor force. The ethos for Caribbean labor must be partnership with management.

5 QA Adoption
6 Work-At-Home Promotion
7 Federal Civil Service
8 Self-Governing Entities (SGE)
9 Volunteers / Foundation

The CU envisions certain volunteers (Fire Departments for sparsely populated areas) and Not-For-Profit Foundations; these ones still need labor protections. The CU requirement is for Workers Compensation for anyone injured on the job.

10 Emergencies – Martial Law – Union Suspension

This theme – fostering better relations between management and workers on the job – aligns with many previous Go Lean commentaries; see a sample list here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16803 Ready for ‘Free Movement’ of Labor – Starting in Barbados
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16000 Good Governance for Local Economic Empowerment
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=14954 Overseas Workers – Not the Panacea
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=14191 New Labor Marketplace: Gig Economy
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10869 Bill Gates Strategy for Labor versus Automation : ‘Tax the Robots’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5759 Lesson from Greece – Macroeconomics affects Labor Markets
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4240 Immigration Policy Exacerbates Worker Productivity Crisis
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5597 Wage-Seeking – Market Forces -vs- Collective Bargaining

The stewards for a new Caribbean, the movement behind the Go Lean book, presents a sober view of the history of communism.

Labor Unions = Junior Communists = Communism-Lite.

But good things did result! Instead of squishing progressive movements, many companies started a “race to the top” to be A Great Place to Work.

This quest did bring about competition, in catering towards the needs of workers. Yes, by dissenting on the absolute power of industrial giants – think plutocrats – the end-result was more people-oriented labor practices.

See the Appendix VIDEO A for further elaborations on the merits of the labor movement during the 19th & 20th centuries.

There is much we have learned from considering this history of Labor Unions in the Western World (North America and Western Europe): complaints from people on the left, is not just noise. Those should be listened too.

Most importantly, the poignant lesson as a take-away from this consideration is that companies – and industries – can accommodate the demands of labor while not cow-tailing to communism. There are benefits – and continuing challenges – to having unions today; see more in the Appendix VIDEO B.

We can all do better. This is how we make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO A – The Labor Movement in the United States | History – https://youtu.be/ewu-v36szlE

Published on Sep 26, 2017 –
Analyze the impact of the labor movement in America throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.


Appendix VIDEO B – The Pros and Cons of Unions Explained… – https://youtu.be/3YnhxYFmeH8

Philly D

Published on Aug 30, 2018 –
As seen first on http://DeFrancoElite.com Subscribe today!!
#Unions #RightToWork

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