Not going to lie, I’m a union girl born and raised. Dad was very active in his union (AFSCME) and he instilled in me that it’s not enough to work hard at what you do but you have to work to make certain that you put in place the mechanisms for everyone to be able to work hard and prosper. For him, that meant strong, robust unions.
I remember when I was a kid, Dad was always supporting some union or unionizing effort somewhere. At various times I remember not being able to eat grapes and peanut butter. I think he gave up coffee for a bit. All of our clothes and cars had to be not just union made but American made as well.
His overriding belief, and the one he passed on to me, was that strong unions mean a strong middle class. You remember the middle class, don’t you? We’re the group that built America and made her strong and proud. We’re the group that works hard to make our lives and the lives of our children better. We’re the engine that drives the economy. Well, that’s who we used to be. Right now, we’re the group that’s barely hanging on.
I’ve been reading the coverage, including the comments, of the Entergy lock-out and what I find troubling is the argument that is being made that because of the state of the economy the Entergy workers should be thankful that they have a job and shouldn’t pushing for “extras” since so many people are out of work; similar comments were made during the recent Verizon strike.
Let me see if I understand this “reasoning”.
Because the economy is poor, those who are “lucky” enough to be working should shut up and be happy that they have a job. They should continue to shut up even if their employer is trying to roll-back benefits and/or wages. I guess you should only fight for decent pay and benefits if everyone else in America is employed.
Honestly, I’m flabbergasted at the idiocy on display here.
How about this: how about we show the union workers support. How about we tell them that we have their backs. Unions are, after all, the reason workers have any type of benefits and security. They are the ones that are standing up for workers and workers rights. They are the ones making sure that the strides of the last SIXTY YEARS aren’t erased.
Like the weekend? Thank the unions.
Like a 40 hour work week? Thank the unions.
Like safe working conditions? Thank the unions.
Like vacation and sick time? Thank the unions.
Because unions fought for these rights as well as many others, they are standard in workplaces around the country. However, they are being slowly eroded. Let’s not help the erosion by turning on them when they need us.
There is a lot that needs to be fixed with our economy and how America does business, fixing it by breaking the backs of the employees is not the answer.
I really believe that, as the unions go, so goes the middle class.