Robert Reich calls for massive Wal-Mart, McDonalds and hospital labor unions
Robert Reich, the former Clinton labor secretary turned MSNBC contributor, targeted some of America’s largest companies calling for a massive union of their forces and argues that these companies should embrace a labor union.
In the Jan. 29 Huff Po piece, Reich writes:
“Almost a quarter of all jobs in America now pay wages below the poverty line for a family of four,” wrote Reich. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 7 out of 10 growth occupations over the next decade will be low-wage — like serving customers at big-box retailers and fast-food chains.”
“Wealthy Americans,” he continued, “would do better with smaller shares of a rapidly-growing economy than with the large shares they now possess of an economy that’s barely moving.”
As a result, they should “support public investments in education and job-training, a world-class infrastructure (transportation, water and sewage, energy, internet), and basic research — all of which would make the American workforce more productive.”
“If they were rational they’d even support labor unions.”
In Reich’s view, employers should support unions coming in and assisting or coordinating how much they should pay their employees.
After discussing how union membership has plummeted in this country in recent years, Reich made a bold request.
“Walmart is a microcosm of the American economy,” he said. “It has brazenly fought off unions. But it could easily afford to pay its workers more. It earned $16 billion last year. Much of that sum went to Walmart’s shareholders, including the family of its founder, Sam Walton.”
The Clinton aide points out that “the wealth of the Walton family now exceeds the wealth of the bottom 40 percent of American families combined.”
In Reich’s view, this is at risk due to the condition of today’s economy and he has this solution.
“Walmart should be unionized. So should McDonalds. So should every major big-box retailer and fast-food outlet in the nation. So should every hospital in America.”