Walter Reuther (second from right) at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963

Happy belated “Labor Day” everyone.  Just as I wish my neighbor to have affordable healthcare………….. 

………I’d also wish him to have a decent paying  Job!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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I came across this article that I found interesting. If you are “Anti-union” as some of my family and friends are….you need not open the link. 

I found it interesting with such a high unemployment rate these days. 

From the article: 

     “Only 12.3 percent of American wage and salary workers belong to unions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, down from a peak of about one-third of the work force in 1955.” 

    “Between 1966 and 1970, as Gerald Seib pointed out last week in The Wall Street Journal, the United States enjoyed an astonishing 48 straight months in which the unemployment rate was at or below 4 percent. No, the unions didn’t do all this by themselves. But they were important co-authors of a social contract that made our country fairer, richer and more productive.” 

The Link:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2012804832_dionne06.html

  

    “……….organized labor is increasingly foreign to American culture. The union movement has always been attached to a set of values — solidarity being the most important, the sense that each should look out for the interests of all. This promoted other commitments: to mutual assistance, to a rough-and-ready sense of equality,…… 

….. to a disdain for elitist,……..”

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Unions have a history……and unfortunately, only the bad apples are remembered and so much of the good goes unmentioned.  Let’s hope our new-found “corporate greed rats” (Who plague health insurance and major pharmaceutical) suffer the same fate……..minus the “hit-man antics”.  Jail or public humiliation will do. 

Health and Prosperity All, 

Todd 

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Chicken Tax?

I know that was the first thing on your mind after reading that……LOL

Reuther (pictured above) and the 1964 Chicken Tax

 

U.S. sales of VW vans in pickup and commercial configurations were curtailed by the Chicken Tax. 

Reuther played a role in a historic episode during the early 1960’s, known as the Chicken War. France and West Germany had placed tariffs on imports of U.S. chicken. 

Diplomacy failed and in January 1964, two months after taking office, President Johnson imposed a 25 percent tax (almost 10 times the average U.S. tariff) on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks. Officially, the tax targeted items imported from Europe as approximating the value of lost American chicken sales to Europe. 

In retrospect, audio tapes from the Johnson White House, revealed a quid pro quo unrelated to chicken. In January 1964, President Johnson attempted to persuade Reuther not to initiate a strike just prior to the 1964 election and to support the president’s civil rights platform. Reuther in turn wanted Johnson to respond to Volkswagen‘s increased shipments to the United States. 

The Chicken Tax directly curtailed importation of German-built Volkswagen Type 2 vans in configurations that qualified them as light trucks — that is, commercial vans and pickups. “In 1964 U.S. imports of “automobile trucks” from West Germany declined to a value of $5.7 million—about one-third the value imported in the previous year. Soon after, Volkswagen cargo vans and pickup trucks, the intended targets, “practically disappeared from the U.S. market.” As of 2009, the Chicken tax remains in effect. 

“Wikipedia”

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I’ve always wondered when VW would bring a pickup to US market……..NOT!!!!!! 

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