There's really not much of a celebration of Labor Day in Kansas City right now . . . Our old school readers might recall that this cowtown once hosted one of the biggest Labor Day parades and and rallies in all of the Midwest.
Whilst there's hope of an economic recovery after the nation struggled with a historic bout of unemployment during the pandemic . . . The crisis confronted by American Labor is far more dire.
Kansas City is home to a great many unions but here's a quick primer on the local union scene for noobs and to spark discussion . . .
Local 42 - They're probably the biggest influencer in KCMO politics and still powerful enough to inflict a sales tax on residents in the midst of a pandemic.
The KC Carpenters Union actually has more financial clout and acts as a piggy bank of sorts, but their media profile is nil.
Stand Up KC, KC Tenants and a few more are actually nothing more or less a very dedicated crew who switch t-shirts for various protests and are backed by the far more powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Similarly, the push for unionization at Truman Medical Centers has SEIU support.
This year National Nurses United have become an important force and garnered notoriety with protests to advocate for more healthcare worker PPE.
It's easy to forget that last year at around this time local UAW workers staged a local strike. Sadly, the UAW is confronting an ongoing corruption scandal that spoils recent gains for workers.
Overshadowed by recent events, the once mighty Teamsters continue an existential fight over their pensions.
Meanwhile, here's the real threat to workers of all kinds and so far there's very little opposition to the trend . . .
Coronavirus could usher in a new age of automation
And whilst some skeptics cheer automation taking over low wage jobs, there's less enthusiasm for the impact of AI powered robots working higher end gigs and replacing a great many healthcare professionals, lawyers and tech workers.
Finally, for the sentimental we should at least mention one of many Kansas City connections to the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and how greed & misplaced trust typically kills any worthwhile movement.
Developing . . .