What's up, America? Monday is Labor Day! Getting excited for that three-day weekend?
I have an idea of how to celebrate: mourning the coming death of organized labor at the hands of the capital class. As globalization wraps its tentacles around the manufacturing sector and deindustrialization tears apart America's middle-class piece by piece, the idea of unionization is getting swallowed in the undertow. Don't believe me? Look at these charts.
That's the good news. The bad news is…
Money is flowing from middle- and low-wage earners, and toward the high-wage earners. That's not great.
Six straight years of growth for the United Autoworkers Union still means they're still millions of people away from their peak.
This isn't good news for anyone.
And even if labor does recover, robots might take all the jobs anyway
McKinsey's report says that as many as 45% of the jobs humans currently perform could eventually be done by machines.
This is already happening. Walmart cut 7,000 accounting jobs yesterday in favor of an automated process, Foxconn fired 60,000 workers and installed robots in their place, and there are even now restaurants where the only thing you need to interact with is a screen.
Bottom-line: a shrinking organized labor force means a shrinking middle-class.
Enjoy the barbecue!
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.