The attack on unions is nothing new. Unions have been under assault since their inception, but the attack was put on steroids thirty years ago. The argument that many average Americans make is that since we have laws to protect the worker, so we no longer need unions. Unions had their place, but now with these laws on the books, unions are irrelevant and actually an obstacle to job creation.
Well, for those of you who believe that unions are no longer needed, take a look at New Hampshire. According to the Concord Monitor, the Republicans are looking to eliminate a law mandating a lunch break after five hours of work.
They are putting their faith in employers to do the right thing and give their employees a lunch break. While that is probably true in most cases, there is also a reason why the law mandating lunch breaks exists.
Given the circumstances of their work an employer may tell you one day, “no lunch today” we are on a tight schedule. We need this job done. Before lunch breaks were legally required this is the way it used to be, and if Republicans get their way, this is the way it will be again.
Those who believe that laws are enough need to understand that all laws can be eliminated, all it would take is one congressional action followed by a presidential signature to repeal OSHA, and we would no longer have oversight of safety in the workplace. We can repeal minimum wage and other laws that protect workers. Nothing is permanent in a democracy anything is subject to change or elimination, given the right circumstances.
When we forget history, we are doomed to repeat it. Labor laws exist because of past actions against workers and without unions there would be no one pressuring lawmakers to pass laws to protect workers.