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Orange is the New Union

Brian Young's picture
Jul 12, 2015

This season's Orange is the New Black, on Netflix, featured strong union messages and provided a great insight into the struggles that workers go through to organize a union and juxtaposed the workers struggle to what life would be like if unions had never existed. On one side of the prison, prisoners are forced to work in a factory making textiles for a company that pays them well under the minimum wage for their work. There are no benefits and when they speak up, they lose their jobs. On the other side of the prison, the guards are fighting to protect their job security and benefits. After the prison privatized, the workers union was decertified and the workers' wages and benefits were cut. Now the guards choose to organize and face the wrath of the anti-union bosses who care more about the profit margin then they do about the safety and security of the guards and prisoners. In the end, the company sends in Joe Caputo, a former leader of the union movement, to inoculate the staff against the union, much in the same way that major corporations like Wal-Mart do. Ultimately the worker are forced to stand up for their rights or face losing more in the name of greater profits. Read the entire article here on Huffington Post.


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