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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:19 AM

Unions, and the stories I didn't tell.

I am a "senior citizen" that failed to tell my children what my father along with many many others had to endure without unions.

Our children learn from our stories. Stories we tell them when they are young. It saddens me beyond belief that millions and millions of people are walking around having no idea the value of a union because they never heard why unions contribute to the quality of life, the clean, safe lives they live today.

I am so sorry that....
I never told my children that before there was a teacher's union, if a married female teacher got pregnant, she would lose her job because the administrators didn't want the students to see a pregnant woman.

I never told my children that before their grandfather worked in a union shop, he was fired for no cause, because the the foreman's hated "dagos" and his brother needed a job.

I never told my children how I remember my father being on strike with no money coming in the house for 105 days. Contract negotiation's were failing and the company hoped the employees would turn on the union.

I never told my children that when their grandfather got cancer and returned to work physically unable to work on the assembly line, the union fought for him to be reassigned to another task. This ended up being a job that he worked at successfully for 11 years until he could take an early retirement at 55.

I never told my children that when I belonged to a union, the union defended my right to work conditions, because the company was 6 months behind in moving my desk out of the windowless storage room that was supposed to be for only a "temporary 3 weeks."

At some level, I feel responsible at what took place in Michigan yesterday.

I am afraid that Mich. Gov. Snyder learned from what happened during the anti-union fight Ohio Gov. Kasich had with public employees. I am afraid that when Ohio workers prevailed, and turned back the SB5 legislation at the ballot box, that gave Snyder the idea to write into the anti-union bill a anti-referendum clause, effectively silencing Michigan voters.

I am afraid that Ohio Gov. Kasich has watched Michigan closely, and is hatching a new plan to attack unions.

I hope and pray that Michigan union workers speak loud and clear by immediately going on a state-wide wildcat strike. This story I will not fail to tell.







21 replies, 1185 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Unions, and the stories I didn't tell. (Original post)
Ninga Dec 2012 OP
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #1
SharonAnn Dec 2012 #2
Ninga Dec 2012 #3
SheilaT Dec 2012 #8
Brickbat Dec 2012 #9
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #4
We People Dec 2012 #5
Doremus Dec 2012 #6
Ninga Dec 2012 #15
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #7
Ninga Dec 2012 #12
Brickbat Dec 2012 #10
drmeow Dec 2012 #11
Ninga Dec 2012 #18
drmeow Dec 2012 #19
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #13
Ninga Dec 2012 #14
Omaha Steve Dec 2012 #16
Ninga Dec 2012 #17
cbrer Dec 2012 #20
Ninga Dec 2012 #21

Response to Ninga (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:52 AM

1. Thank you for this post.

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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:55 AM

2. And it's a shame they're not told of the union side in school. Just management's side.

In many cases, the early days of labor fighting for unions were "dark and bloody times".

People fought hard for labor rights.

And yet, when people are treated unfairly at work today, manyof them say "they'll sue". They don't understand that, if they have a right to sue, labor/union battles won that right for them.

And the number of men who fought the 1960's employment discrimination laws who end up suing f(or threatening to sue) for "age discrimination" when they're over 40 and discharged, always confuses me. Why do they think they should have anti-discrimination rights but women, minorities, etc. shouldn't?

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:03 PM

3. Yes, you are so right. I bet we could write and write more and more stories.....

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:02 PM

8. When I was in school in the late 1950's

and early 1960's, all of my teachers clearly expressed an admiration for unions and what they had accomplished for this country. I expect that was because they were either themselves old enough to remember the organizing efforts of the 1930's, or had parents or grandparents who'd told them about it, and about the even earlier efforts back in the 19th century.

All that has been lost to us, alas.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:03 PM

9. Wisconsin public schools have a labor requirement in their curriculum.

Or they did two years ago, anyway.

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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:04 PM

4. K&R. n/t

 

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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:46 PM

5. We've all taken for granted that what we've always had will always be there

Something I began to realize in twelve years ago today, with Bush vs. Gore.

We may not always have a voice or a vote in elections. Social Security protection. Medicare protection. Public schools. The Commons. Democracy.

Throughout the years, Democrats have not made it clear with our children, our friends, or even our fellow Dems what it means to be a Democrat. What Democracy is. What the Democratic Party stands for.

Many of us just took for granted that any sane person with a heart and a brain would logically understand, figure it out, and vote accordingly. Sometimes it takes years to see the results of the Death by a Thousand Cuts that "the common people" have been dealt for decades. By the time we notice, the damage is almost irrevocable. Hard to do a lot about it once the media, the judiciary, congressional integrity, and the election process have become morally corrupt. And a lot of our population has been conditioned (or "trained") to react viscerally and irrationally in a way that has developed in a slow and almost undetectable manner. It's the frog-in-the-kettle effect.

So it's not just you, Ninga. We've all done it - whether it's about unions or any other part of the democratic process.

The important part now, as you stated in closing, is that we've got to keep people informed about it while we still can. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:50 PM

6. Excellent post. K&R

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Response to Doremus (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:37 PM

15. Thank you. It come from my heart.

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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:01 PM

7. kr. and a general plug for parents and grandparents recording their life stories generally. so

 

many of my elders lived fascinating lives and i wish they had written them down. they always said "no one would want to read that stuff, nothing interesting..."

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:26 PM

12. Sadly, I heard the exact same words from my family..I am doing my best to pass the union legacy

on....thinking its never too late.

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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:06 PM

10. Interesting. As my sigline says, union is my religion.

We talk union in this house the way other families talk about religion. Mr. Brickbat and I have always been active in our unions and we regularly bring the kids to meetings, rallies, parties and pickets. I can't imagine them not knowing why they go to school instead of work, why we can live the lifestyle we do, and where it all came from.

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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:02 PM

11. I stopped using TGIF and now use TUIF

Thank a union it's Friday!

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Response to drmeow (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:16 AM

18. This would make a great bumper sticker!

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Response to Ninga (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 04:56 PM

19. I'm pretty sure I got it from DU

originally! It would make a great bumper sticker.

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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:30 PM

13. My youth is showing, what's a Dago?

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:34 PM

14. Slang/slur for Italians.

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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:07 AM

16. K&R!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #16)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:11 AM

17. Thanks Omaha Steve! My Dad proudly walked in support of the UAW when he worked in Detroit.

Our family has deep roots in the union movement.

My generation of offspring are becoming the dinosaurs of the union movement and we must get back to telling our stories.



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Response to Ninga (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 05:07 PM

20. I have to come clean too Ninga

 

I voted against unionization at the Georgia Ports Authority when we had an opportunity to join the Longshoremens local. It was a mistake that has had repercussions since.

I give you my word I have and will continue to present and reinforce the truth about union activities from then henceforth. I can only hope at this point that my activities have had an alterable effect on local companies and our communities.

Despite shortcomings, unions have had a much more positive effect than not. They are directly responsible for building the middle class, and provide a spread of wealth that helps keep vulture capitalists in check.

Thank you my brother.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:34 PM

21. Peace and Solidarity...

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