"They're Bankrupting Us!": And 20 Other Myths about Unions

Front Cover
Beacon Press, Aug 28, 2012 - Political Science - 224 pages
From Wisconsin to Washington, DC, the claims are made: unions are responsible for budget deficits, and their members are overpaid and enjoy cushy benefits. The only way to save the American economy, pundits claim, is to weaken the labor movement, strip workers of collective bargaining rights, and champion private industry. In "They're Bankrupting Us!": And 20 Other Myths about Unions, labor leader Bill Fletcher Jr. makes sense of this debate as he unpacks the twenty-one myths most often cited by anti-union propagandists. Drawing on his experiences as a longtime labor activist and organizer, Fletcher traces the historical roots of these myths and provides an honest assessment of the missteps of the labor movement. He reveals many of labor's significant contributions, such as establishing the forty-hour work week and minimum wage, guaranteeing safe workplaces, and fighting for equity within the workforce. This timely, accessible, "warts and all" book argues, ultimately, that unions are necessary for democracy and ensure economic and social justice for all people.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - phlll - LibraryThing

I'm not a union guy. Mainly because I'd heard several of the "myths" presented in this book growing up, and because unions that I've been compelled to join throughout my life have been particularly ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarcyWinograd - LibraryThing

This book provides a comprehensive overview of the history of the union movement in the United States, with a critical look at organized labor's traditional support for the status quo, including the ... Read full review


What Is a Union?
Workers are forced to join unions right?
Unions are bankrupting us and destroying the economy
Unions are actually run by labor bosses arent they?
Public sector unions cause budget deficits right?
Unions make unreasonable demands that result in lots of strikes
Unions were good once but we dont need them any longer
Unions hold me back from advancing and ifIjoin Iwill never be promoted
Unions are corrupt and mobbed up
Unions have a checkered history and were started by communists and other troublemakers
Unions are all racist and people ofcolor need not apply Myth 13 Unions have a history of sexism what makes them better now?
Unions deal with wages hours and working conditions what about other issues?
Yes unions are good for their members but they hurt the rest ofus
Unions and corporations are both too big and dont really care about the worker
Lets face it in a globalized world unions are powerless

Unions are only needed by workers who have problems and get into trouble
The union uses our money for political action and I have no say in the matter

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Bill Fletcher Jr. is a long-time racial-justice, labor, and international activist, scholar, and author.  He has been involved in the labor movement for decades, and is a widely known speaker and writer in print and on radio, television, and the Web. He has served in leadership positions with many prominent union and labor organizations, including the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union. Fletcher is currently the director of field services for the American Federation of Government Employees.

Bibliographic information