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With Traditional Unions on the Decline, Can Members-Only Unions Breathe Life Back Into Labor? – Working In These Times

This article goes in-depth on members-only unions, especially in the South. Apparently, they’re far in between, but they exist and are often very civil rights-oriented. Read this:

What is often lost in many of the discussions on workers’ rights is that members-only unions are not a theoretical construct or historical remnant. In fact, beyond UAW Local 42, a variety of public and private-sector locals have operated on a members-only basis for many years, with varying degrees of success. For example, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has approximately 120,000 members in members-only unions spread across Texas, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Virginia.

Most of the existing members-only unions are located in southern states, because legal conditions in those states such as right-to-work laws make it difficult to organize a majority union. Similarly, most members-only unions are public-sector unions, because many states that are inhospitable to labor can easily pass laws that limit collective bargaining rights in the public sector. However, there are members-only unions in the private sector and in other geographic locations as well.

via With Traditional Unions on the Decline, Can Members-Only Unions Breathe Life Back Into Labor? – Working In These Times.

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In These Times: “Why the Left Isn’t Talking About Rural American Poverty”

First off, I’m guilty of this.

Second off, right now I’m reading another article on members-only unions and how they fair in very rural, politically anti-union states like Texas and North Carolina. I’m wondering if members-only unionism (aka “minority unions”) are the only sort of unionism that can work here in rural Georgia. But read this, first:

If you spend time among coastal liberals, it’s not unusual to hear denigrating remarks made about poor “middle Americans” slip out of mouths that are otherwise forthcoming about the injustices of poverty and inequality.

Yet, since the 1950s, Americans living in non-metropolitan counties have had a higher rate of poverty than those living in metropolitan areas. According to the 2013 American Community Survey, the poverty rate among rural-dwelling Americans is three percent higher than it is among urban-dwellers. In the South, the poorest region of the country, the rural-urban discrepancy is greatest—around eight percent higher in non-metro areas than metro areas.

So why is the poverty of rural America largely unexamined, even avoided? There are a number of explanations.

via Why the Left Isn’t Talking About Rural American Poverty – Rural America.

Elections with Two Female Candidates

I’m reading about the upcoming Taiwanese presidential election, pitting two women against each other from the two largest parties in the Republic of China and ensuring that Taiwan’s next president will be a woman. Given that we have two presidential candidates running for their respective parties’ nomination (Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina), I’m trying to build a list of women who have ran against each other in U.S. elections. The list is in its early stages:

  • Dianne Feinstein (D) vs. Elizabeth Emken (R) (U.S. Senate for California, 2012)
  • Barbara Boxer (D) vs. Carly Fiorina (R) (U.S. Senate for California, 2010; also with women from Libertarian and Peace & Freedom parties)
  • Bonnie Watson Coleman (D) vs. Alieta Eck (R) (U.S. House for New Jersey, 2014)
  • Patty Murray (D) vs. Linda Smith (R) (U.S. Senate for Washington, 1998
  • Margaret Chase Smith (R) vs. Lucia Cormier (D) (U.S. Senate for Maine, 1960)