In 1967 I was in a Union. I worked my ass off in a paper mill. I got good pay and punched a time clock. When I worked over time I got time and a half. I had medical insurance. I got paid holidays and if they needed someone to work on those holidays those of us who worked got Golden Time, that is to say we got double our base pay and if we worked a double shift on one of those special days we got double Golden Time.
There has always been power in a union. There is nothing more American than being a worker in a union. The rich ultra right wing con artists of the Heritage Foundation lie to you and tell you that unions only exist to bleed the workers. But unions are not like religion which has the preacher's hand in your pocket. Unions do not make promises about heavenly rewards in exchange for your tithe. No unions stand behind behind those who carry the card.
Now the Republican'ts have never ever been a friend to the worker. They are the party of the fat cats, the bosses who make the millions while begrudging us time and a half for over time or keeping us under 30 hours so we do not get health care.
They called the unions Red and every thing that benefits the workers socialism. Well if caring more about the workers barely making it than some CEO or CFO making half a billion a year like the guy who tanked Lehman Brothers did makes me a red then I am a red. I look around and it is the working class that is suffering and losing their homes.
They sold us NAFTA and CAFTA, Free Trade and the WTO. GATT and the World Bank. Well I'm an economic nationalist. I want real work here in my country. Making things not just buying and selling them. Money made from manufacturing not extending credit and building houses made of credit cards.
I'm all for fair trade not free trade. And international unions so that the person in India doing the phone service-tech job is paid the exact same wage as the American phone service tech living in say Plano Texas.
I want all the workers to have health insurance, paid vacations and sick time too. I want time and a half for over time.
Oh and I remember a period in the 1970s when there was a demand that we shoud resurect. A thirty hour work week with forty hour pay.
The Employee Free Choice Act is only a baby step at undoing the damage to the working class that the last 40 years of right wing labor policies have done.
The next step is freedom to organize without fear of corporate retaliation.
There is power in holding a union card.
Weekly Open Thread with Tapestry
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