Compare and contrast the positions on labor issues found on the AFL-CIO website the same key issues on websites such as the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
The AFL-CIO's positions tilt largely to the left, demanding workers have the right to determine their own wages and working conditions while eliminating "corporate greed" and winning social justice reforms for immigrants and other "protected classes." The National Right to Work Foundation acts to counter unchecked union abuses like compulsory membership, forced dues and violence against non-members while guaranteeing workers the right to gain employment through the free enterprise system. NAM strikes a balance, combining key views from both sides.
The AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) is a confederation of 55 national and foreign unions that represent over 12 million laborers in different industries, most notably through aggressive activism, lobbying, and spending campaigns meant to advance leftist interests. According to their site, their key positions on labor are as follows:
- All people deserve "good" jobs and the right to determine their own wages.
- All people deserve safe working conditions, free from injury, illness and death.
- Major corporations are "greedy," engaging in stock buybacks and outsized executive compensation that deprives their employees of needed capital investment in more crucial areas of their companies.
- Women are mistreated in the workplace via sexually discriminatory practices like unequal pay and lack of access to quality healthcare.
- All immigrants, regardless of legal status, are owed the right to work as part of a larger global movement toward social justice.
These more progressive ideologies stand in stark contrast to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which also touts its support for workers' rights, but takes a much more conservative stance on the issues and positions itself as a defense against union confederations like the AFL-CIO. According to their site, their key positions on labor are as follows:
- To guarantee everyone's right to employment opportunities by curbing the coercive power of the unions, which is particularly relevant to less skilled non-union employees who could never compete with their union counterparts.
- To eliminate compulsory union membership (antithetical to the AFL-CIO's raison d'être) and restrict the use of forced dues for leftist political purposes.
- Ending union violence against non-union workers.
- Ending union "hiring halls" and other practices that place nepotism or union connections above merit.
Taking a position more central to both organizations in NAM (National Association of Manufacturers), which claims to represent 14,000 member companies of all sizes in nearly every industrial sector and nearly 13 million workers "who make things in America." According to their site, their key positions on labor are as follows:
- Employment should be based on a commitment to free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty, and equal opportunity (typically more conservative ideals).
- Immigration reform is essential to America maintaining a strong and competitive place in global manufacturing, with the need to balance national security interests (conservative) with compassion and reverence for immigrants of any legal status (progressive).
- Manufacturers should be proponents of "equality," insinuating that discrimination among employees for their gender, race, sexual preference, etc. is still rampant (much like the AFL-CIO still believes).
- Manufacturers need to help maintain the safety of their employees (just as the AFL-CIO touts) by engaging in reforms that drive down healthcare costs (a goal that all sides agree on while differing on the means, whether government-induced or via the free market).
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