NHLN: This is a very special re-post of NALC member Bill Brickley’s post. This post was published in the NH NALC newsletter and received national recognition from the NALC.
REVERSE ROBIN HOOD
By Bill Brickley
The Guardians Of the Powerful (GOP) want our union eliminated. It really is that simple. In state legislatures where the GOP maintains control they are attempting to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions. If the GOP gets control of Congress in Washington they will most assuredly strip the NALC of their right to collectively bargain for us. Fred Rolando knows this quite well as does anyone that takes time to pay attention to politics.
Newly elected Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker couldn’t wait to attack unions. Under the guise of trying to address budget problems he took away public unions right to collectively bargain. The GOP was elated and the other states from Ohio to NH have followed in attacking public unions. We are the enemy to them. Corporations that ship our jobs overseas are their friends.
While speaking with the top policy advisor of Carol Shea Porter days before the November election and I told her the 7 out of 10 NALC members in NH were supporting Democrats. She was astounded that 30% of our members would vote against their self-interest. She asked me why so many members of our union would support people who will go to Washington to work against us and the rest of the middle class.
I explained that we have some members who have bought into the NRA scare tactics about gun control. The NRA’s revenue is tied to how much they scare their members so they seem to be quite effective at not having their members pay attention to the fact that the federal government is really not interested in revisiting the Second Amendment. The choice between your guns and your job doesn’t really exist. These voters are simply voting to eliminate their job.
I explained that we have some members who have religious reasons to support the GOP. Personally I am not quite sure how robbing the middle class and poor of their money and giving it to the rich can be defended in the bible. But I am certainly no theologian. In their mind for them it’s a choice between eternal life and having a job while on earth.
We have other members who have followed the newly formed corporate front group the Tea Party. They want to pretty much eliminate any part of the government that gets in the way of corporate America accumulating wealth. The Postal Service it a gold mine to them and they will dismantle us as soon as they have the votes to do it. I personally love seeing tea party supporters quoting the constitution as if it’s some kind of enlightened document. They don’t want to elaborate on the fact that this flawed document written by the rich white wealthy elite has some ethical problems. It sanctioned slavery and gave no rights to women, Native Americans or people of color. This is the perfect universe to tea party supporters. Rich white men constantly whining that they are not rich enough.
I told her that is pretty much why 3 in 10 members of our union don’t support members of congress that help keep us employed. She still found it astonishing that this could happen. How is it possible they can be so blind she asked me?
None of us should be satisfied that the NALC political agenda is only supported by 70% of us. It’s easy to justify that this figure is high enough and reason that it’s difficult to have everyone agree on anything. But we should consider the vote in Sudan in January. The election was a referendum for Southern Sudan to secede and form its own country. The voting in Sudan was 98.6% to 1.4% there is your proof that people can be educated enough to support the obvious. If voters in Sudan can reach a 98.6% consensus we can surely get over 70%
We all have to take a step back and observe what is happening in our country. This is no longer a country that has a sense of economic justice.
In the United States the top 400 people own over 50% of the wealth. That’s right the richest 400 people are worth the same as the bottom 155 million people. People don’t seem to understand the immense transfer of wealth that has occurred in our country. The rich have stolen and almost eliminated the middle class. The bottom 24% of our country has a net worth of Zero.
The amazing part of this reverse robin hood policy that the wealthy elite have not only turned our democracy into a plutocracy but the rich never seem to think they are rich enough. They will not rest until the entire middle class net worth is Zero and the rights to collective bargaining have been ruled illegal. They are attempting to rewrite history and eliminate the labor movement.
In neighboring Maine newly elected GOP Governor Paul LePage has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depicting the Labor History of Maine from the lobby of the Department of Labor. LePage stated that the mural was too “one sided” and it was” not in keeping with the departments pro business goals.” LePage said it was a “tangible change” that will help attract more business. Really? By the way LePage’s family owns Country Kitchen Bakeries. Which is a notorious union busting company (make sure you don’t buy their products) He is pushing Right to Work and other anti union legislation. Are we still in America?
The battle lines are now clearly drawn. Corporate America and their proxy the Guardians Of the Powerful have declared war on unions and working Americans. You can be on the side of the wealthy corporate powers or you can be on the side of unions and working people. There really is no middle ground. Silence in this battle is complicity.
Unions across this country know the stakes are high and have turned out in record numbers to protest. From Wisconsin to Ohio to New Hampshire. “We Are One” in this fight. Our survival is literally at stake. The time for us playing nice is over. If you are an NALC member and you are not with us then get the hell out of our way.