Paul Horton continues to provide a historical context for issues of our time. In this post, he shows how the birth and growth of the black middle class was integrally related to the union movement and public sector employment.
“The biggest lifeline that middle class blacks could grasp was public sector employment. The last thirty years have seen an increase in the employment of blacks in city, county, and state government. Teachers, firemen, police, water and sanitation workers make up the backbone of the black middle class today. It is not surprising, given the history cited above that blacks are very active in seeking the job protections offered by union membership.
“In fact, in a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last year (“Union Members Summary”), “black workers were more likely to be union members than white, Asian, or Hispanic workers.” The average weekly earnings…
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