Fox News continued its assault on the labor movement during a Cashin‘ In panel discussion that characterized unions as parasitic “vestigial” lobbying organizations that do nothing for their members and harm the economy. As evidence of their claims, the panel referenced a decades-long decline in union membership, but ignored the sustained political assault behind the drop as well as the empirically established economic benefits of a robust labor movement.
On the September 14 edition of Fox News’ Cashin‘ In, host Eric Bolling introduced a segment about union membership drives and protests taking place this month, asking whether the effort was “bad for workers.”
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Bolling’s panel was content to dedicate their airtime to glib metaphors and baseless attacks, ignoring a more substantive discussion on the reasons for declining union membership and the benefits that organized labor provide to union worker, non-union workers, and the economy as a whole.
A decline in union membership cannot be attributed to unions’ failure to provide their members with benefits. In fact, surveys indicate the desire to join a union has been growing since the 1980s. Unions are in decline in part because of an ongoing campaign from the political right that has resulted in legislation at state and federal levels making it more and more difficult to engage in the unionization process. So-called “right-to-work” laws pushed in several states by the likes of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and conservative billionaire Charles Koch have “blindsided” the labor movement and resulted in precipitous declines in those states. And U.S. law places significant obstacles in the way of workers attempting to unionize.