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Blue-collar Blues

Blue-collar Blues

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Blue-collar Blues

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  1. Blue-collar Blues I. Changing Conditions A. Economic B. Cultural C. Political II. Deindustrialization A. Importing goods B. Exporting manufacturing III. Unions and Workers A. Union Busting B. Worker Rights C. Rich and Poor IV. Calls for reform

  2. Economic • Inflation • Yom Kippur War, 1973 • OPEC Cartel • Iranian Revolution, 1979 • Profits fall • 10% in 1965 • 4.5% in 1974 • Dow closes lower in 1979 than in 1965 • Unemployment rises as high as ten percent 2001 Rate = 3.59%

  3. Cultural • Long Hot Summers • Watergate • Vietnam • US: 58,000 deaths • SVN: 200,000 • NVN: 900,000 • Civilians: 1M • Iran Hostage crisis • Anger • July 12, 1979 • 5,000 riot at Comiskey

  4. Political • Nixon landslide, 1972 • Reagan revolution, 1980 • Both depend on working-class votes Screen Actors Guild president Ronald Reagan testifying before HUAC, 1947

  5. De-regulation • Airlines • Civil Aeronautics Board dissolved in 1984 • Lower fares, but wave of bankruptcies • Trucking • Motor Carrier Reform Act of 1980 gives trucking companies more power to set rates • Lower rates, but teamsters suffer

  6. Importing Goods • Share of world production falls from 76% to 21% • Between 1969 and 1990, import share of GNP jumps from 5.7% to 14% 1970 Datsun 240Z

  7. De-industrialization • 30% of plants close between 1969-1976 • Manufacturers invest in South, West, & abroad

  8. Union Busting • PATCO– Air traffic controllers strike • NFL Players’ Association

  9. Worker Rights • Civil Rights Act, 1964 • Title VII • EEOC • Occupational Safety and Health Act, 1970 • Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990 • Family and Medical Leave Act, 1993 George H.W. Bush signs ADA, 1990

  10. Rich and Poor • Income gap rises • Top tax brackets fall

  11. A Paralyzed Movement • Reformers improve labor’s reputation • United Mine Workers • Teamsters for a Democratic Union • SEIU • But infighting continues • AFL-CIO still shrinking • But ties to other groups are growing stronger NOW’s Kim Gandy and AFL-CIO president John Sweeney