If you’re a union member today, go to the union hall. Look around and feel the history and realize that you are in a sacred place. This is the altar that upon which the middle class was born. All that we gained, all that we enjoy as a labor force started here. It was baptized in the blood of our forbearers’, built upon the broken and battered bodies of the first to stand up for our workplace rights. Our early leaders were beaten, stabbed, shot and jailed as traitors by greedy industrialists. They persevered down through the decades. Our children went to schools instead of the mills because of the sacrifices the men and women made. Our wages became better and set standards for non union workers. The workplace became safer through their tireless work. We attained forty hour work weeks, vacations, overtime pay, pensions and health benefits. People starved, lost their shelter and sometimes their families so the dignity in our labor would be recognized. The country as a whole gained status and pride. We became that shining beacon that people from afar strove to come to or duplicate.
That is being lost now. Big business, in collusion with corrupt and bought politicians has staged an attack of unprecedented proportions upon us. We are locked out of the workplace in an effort to force us to give back the hard won gains. This is being done in a time of record profits, record pay and bonuses for CEO’s and upper echelon management and a shrinking job market due to outsourcing. They use these massive profits to form shadow groups in the form of patriotic organizations, usually starting with the names Americans, Liberty and Freedom to cover their real purpose of destroying the unions. We are their biggest threat. These groups write laws, set educational agendas to further the rich and enslave the rest of us. They use propaganda and lies through their fascist, biased TV stations and radio talk shows. These are nothing but bought and paid for ignorant ‘spokespersons’ used to vilify the very foundation of our country. They attack teachers, schools and the processes in which our students are taught. They seek to lessen education with slick programs such as “No Student Left Behind”, Charter Schools under little guidance from real educators. They, the well educated, seek to stop programs that would teach people High Order Thing Skills. The biggest educational threat to them is people with reason, logic and analytical skills. Workers with these skills question, they do not mindlessly perform tasks that are unethical.
These elite one percenters and their paid puppets are not patriots. They do not believe in the American way of life. They hide their wealth overseas and they use their massive wealth to skew the tax code for their profit, put their people in positions in government agencies to obfuscate the policies and rules that protect us. The problem is that they are winning, they have the money, they political power and the will to keep up the attack. They feel it is their destiny to rule this country and every one shall bow before their mighty power.
We need to look to our hall, realize our strength comes from the righteousness of our honest labor and our solidarity. We need to step up, step to the front and attack back nationwide in the same way they have attacked us. If we don’t do this our children will be back in the mills instead of schools, our workplaces will become death traps and we will have to work to our deaths. We will not be able to retire. We have to press our politicians for radical changes and if they feel it is much too risky to their coveted positions to put forth; we have to start looking at forming a new party. A party made up of working class men and women who understand the issues of the men and women who built this country, the working class not the rich elites. The present system does not work, it must be changed.
Retired IUPAT member