Once again Labor Day is upon us.
Let me start by thanking all of the strong dedicated union members of the past who fought and died for our rights and many of the protections and benefits workers enjoy today. Without their strength and solidarity we would not have weekends, healthcare, OSHA, or vacation time, just to name a few (better list in image below).
Over the past thirty years corporate executives used union members as scapegoats to hide the fact that they are siphoning more of the profits for themselves. CEO’s blame workers as they ship our jobs overseas to boost their own salaries. CEO’s in the United States make on average 300 times that average worker in his or her own company. This is obscene and is more than double the next highest country on the list. Profits and productivity continue to go up, yet wages go down as the executives and their Wall Street buddies reel in the cash.
Politicians began to attack working people to avoid being forced to increase taxes on their corporate campaign donors. They rig the system so that working people are forced to pay more into a retirement system that pays them less in the end. They “borrow” from our retirement systems to balance their budgets and then refuse to pay back the loan. They pass laws making it harder for workers to organize and form union because they know that unorganized people are easier to steamroll.
Combined, the greed of Corporate America and their political puppets have created the greatest level of income inequality in U.S. history.
The thing that many people do not seem to understand it that stronger unions benefit all workers.
A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute showed that if union density had remained at level as they were in the 1979, nonunion men lacking a college degree would be making $3,000 more annually.
What appears to be an attack on unions is really thinly veiled attack on all working people.
These politicians and corporate overlords are no friends to working people. They only care about one thing, money. CEO’s say, “How much money will moving this factory to China boost my stock options?” Politicians say, “How many campaign donations will I get if I can pass this law to stop workers from organizing?”
As the 2016 elections bear down on us, we need to remember to only support those who put working people first. Those who will fight to protect our rights to collectively bargain, will work to make it easier for workers to organize, will advocate for Project Labor Agreements, fight to protect our retirement systems, and work to ensure that all working people have access to affordable healthcare.
We need to fill our State House and Senate will representatives who pledge to support working people not out of state special interests.
It is the “down ticket” candidates who have the biggest impact on our daily lives. That is why this year I am voting from the bottom up and I encourage you to do the same.
Over the next few weeks take the time to do a little research on the candidates running for State Rep and State Senate. See where they stand on issues like the Minimum Wage (1, 2, 3), Medicaid Expansion (1) and Prevailing Wage (1) legislation. If they oppose these and support so-called Right to Work legislation, they are no friend to working people and should not be elected.