I've worked two jobs for the last five-plus years, with no signs of a break. Of course, part of that is my own fault; I refuse to work on principle for employers who mandate any sort of drug testingand I've also written off a lot of corporate jobs because I could not face myself after a day of working with banal evil (e.g., being the FedEx Ground employee who had to fire driver Jean Capobianco because of company policy).
Greenhouse makes a similar point. "In the United States, it was always assumed that your children would earn more and live better than you do," he writes. "For the first time, however, many Americans are worried that their children's generation will actually live worse than they do. Those fears...are fully justified."
No union can avoid confrontation with rapacious employers determined to make labor bear the costs of the recession. No worker can be certain that his or her job or health benefits are secure. No working-class parents can be confident that their children will have better opportunities in life than they had. There's little alternative other than to fight back--or accept being pushed down even further.