Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Want Ads: Unions Wanted - Rather - Needed

Howard Zinn tells us in his People’s History of the United States that, “…as the twentieth century opened, 284,000 children between the ages of ten and fifteen worked in mines, mills and factories…” in The United States of America.

Child labor and unconscionable treatment of all employees, especially women and children, spawned the organization of labor unions.

Once organized, labor unions pressured Congress and employers to humanize employment in the US.

There are people today, so called middle class, working people, who have said that it’s a good thing that unions are fading out of site. Many say that unions have outlived their usefulness. They did some good at first, but they became as corrupt if not more corrupt than the employers from whom they were supposed to protect workers.

No one can deny that many unions became too large and, consequently, corrupt and, in many cases, began doing business with organized crime (hey, the purpose of a union is to organize, right?).

During Ronald Reagan’s administration, the government of The Former United States of America began its path toward today’s almost entirely fascist governing methodology. Corporations knew that they were on their way to being in the driver’s seat of the American government after Ronald Reagan fired 11,350 air traffic controllers in 1981.

It’s obvious, as well, that the media was realizing at this time that it was, in fact, a corporate entity as it presented the argument made by the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Association (PATCO) as a collection of selfish demands by one of the highest paid professions. There was very little attention given to the history of the turbulent relationship that began in 1968 and culminated with the ’81 strike between PATCO and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Consequently, the public sided with that always upbeat, smiling Reagan when he took the livelihood away from 11,350 American employees.

There was also very little air time given to the fact that, by 1983, the replacement ATCs were already looking to form another union and actually attempted to do so in 1987.

In his article



David Johnson makes an excellent case why middle and lower class Americans should cease cheering for Corporations and begin to join their fellow workers in reviving efforts to organize.

To friendship,
Michael

“Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.” – James Dewer

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