Today we celebrate the glorious history of the American labor movement. While unions have a storied past RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what the future holds.
Labor Day in Rhode Island has long been more than a summer’s end holiday. For decades, union leaders and their members have celebrated a movement that assimilated immigrants, fought vigorously for better pay and working conditions and was a fulcrum in the creation of a strong middle class.
House Speaker Gordon Fox says he does not favor a General Assembly override of Governor Lincoln Chafee’s veto of legislation that would create an anti-abortion `Choose Life’ Rhode Island license plate that would serve as a fund-raising vehicle for an evangelical Christian anti-abortion group.
Fox’s comments came during an interview with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Roundtable panelists Scott MacKay, Flo Jonic and Maureen Moakley. Fox noted that he a long-time supporter of abortion rights who did not vote for the `Choose Life' plate when it was approved in the House.
Organized labor has been beset in recent years with declining membership in the private sector and a corresponding drop in clout at the Rhode Island Statehouse. Unions have taken their lumps recently, but there were signs of a rebound during the recently adjourned General Assembly session.
Labor did not get nearly everything it wanted; building trades union leaders are unhappy that lawmakers did not approve requiring construction firms bidding on state projects worth $1 million or more to have a union apprenticeship program.