Unions would defend and advance workers’ wages and working conditions in their jobs within the existing society by direct action, particularly strikes, picket lines, and worker solidarity across crafts and industries.
Cooperatives would progressively transform the economy by organizing our production and consumption democratically. We would receive the full fruits of our labor instead of being systematically exploited by a system that siphons away much of the value we create to parasitic absentee owners. Each member of a cooperative would have one vote in decisions and would receive a patronage dividend equal to their contribution to the cooperative’s net earnings: refunds in proportion to purchases made through consumer cooperatives and incomes in proportion to labor contributed in worker cooperatives.
The reality today:
Today business unionism is predominant. With few exceptions, unions today have the culture of an insurance company, where the workers are clients and the officers are managers taking in our payments and doling out our benefits....green party , greens , labor day , organized labor , unions , cooperatives
The legal framework that made the corporate offensive against unions possible was created in 1947 with the passage of the Taft-Hartley amendments to the National Labor Relations Act. Taft-Harley outlawed nonviolent direct action by workers in many of its forms, including sympathy and solidarity strikes, “secondary boycotts” where workers refuse to cross picket lines when they were not directly party to a labor dispute, and refusing to handle “hot cargo” coming from or going to a struck enterprise.
The major result of the Taft-Hartley restrictions on labor action has been to divert unions from direct action to cautious administration of contracts with no-strike clauses so the company will not sue the union for violating the contract. Unions now devote most of their resources to handling grievances through “proper channels” and defending themselves from lawsuits by corporations with far more resources to go to court.