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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 01:56 PM
Original message
Not to put too fine a point on it, but...
Edited on Sun Feb-20-11 01:58 PM by Orrex
Every single thing that doesn't suck about jobs today is entirely the result of unions' efforts. People have fought and literally died to improve conditions and to make sure that workers have a voice, and the way our society has chosen to say thank you is by accusing these organizations of causing the problems that they've struggled for decades to overcome. Does anyone think that corporations would have accepted a 40-hour work-week or safety standards if not for the pressure applied by collective bargaining?

Whenever I hear someone complaining about high union wages, I want to say "you're right; they're not nearly high enough." And the only reason that a $27.50/hour job seems outrageous is because we've been societally brainwashed into believing that $11.00/hour is a great wage.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. You betcha
from someone who has never made much more than $11/hour in her life.



TG, TT
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yep.
Really pisses me off when I hear Democrats bitching about Unions. They certainly aren't perfect, but God help us if we go back to a life without them.
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Myrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yep, $27.50 an hour doesn't go too far ...
... when gas is $3.30 a gallon, milk is $3.00 a gallon, child care is about $175 a week (per child), etc etc etc ...
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senseandsensibility Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. amen, brother or sister.
To the greatest page if there is any justice.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. K&R
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yup.
Serfs and slaves. We're on the road back to those days thanks largely to globalization and a "global labor pool" that will never run low on desperate people willing to do most anything for a few crumbs.
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tinkerbell41 Donating Member (722 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
7. Exactly
:kick:
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. "Every single thing that doesn't suck about jobs today is entirely the result of unions' efforts."
Can't put it any better than that.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
10. Now you are really stretching it
They have certainly helped to improve the labor situation. However, claiming that they are the sole cause of everything good is unsupportable non-sense. You would be better served coming up with real examples of the benefits caused by collective bargaining instead of making wild assertions.

Safety standards were legislatively imposed, not accepted by corporations due to collective bargaining. So your assertion is easily proven false without effort.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Perhaps not the sole cause, but in their absence I doubt that we'd any real safety standards
Edited on Sun Feb-20-11 05:40 PM by Orrex
Obviously they're imposed by legislative action--that's actually something of a "no shit" observation, but what in your experience suggests that such legislation would have been passed in defiance of corporate will if not backed by the force of workers' collective might?

Health benefits. Pension plans. 40-hour work week. Overtime. These are just the most obvious of the benefits secured through union efforts.


I stand by my assertion. I look forward to reading your list of the many great and wonderful delights bestowed upon us through the goodwill of our corporate fellow citizens?


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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. That is materially different from the content of your OP
Unionization certainly HELPed, but your OP claims that "Every single thing that doesn't suck about jobs today is entirely the result of unions' efforts." is certainly false.

Your expectations of a list are a straw man. It is topically unrelated to your assertion that everything that doesn't suck about jobs is entirely the result of unions. That assertion has already been disproved.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Then present a list of pro-worker legislative actions that were not the result of union lobbying
Edited on Sun Feb-20-11 06:24 PM by Orrex
My OP was a quick summation, and a quick summation that is not contrary to fact is hardly false.

Nor has it "already been disproven." You've stated your disagreement, but that's hardly the same thing.


on edit: if your beef is with the word "entirely," then you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I will happily substitute "predominately" or "overwhelmingly" or "almost wholly" if it'll help untwist your knickers.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I don't need to do any such thing
You have claimed that everything is "entirely" a result of unions. I have showed you that to be false, specifically related to worker safety. If anything the need for legislation shows that unions failed to provide workers safety, and needed the support of the rest of the public and government to ensure safe workplaces.

If you change the word entirely than you have fundamentally changed the meaning of the OP. The words you have chosen are subjective. Why don't we just agree that unions have helped a great deal, but are not the sole cause of better work environments?
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sudopod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Could you try to be more pedantic please? KTHX! nt
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 07:05 AM
Response to Reply #14
38. On worker safety....you make the other poster's point for him.
Take a look at the Triangle fire to see what Companies were doing without supervision. The legislative wonders you tout all followed cases of death and tragedy. Because management would not unlock doors, would not allow breaks, learn the history.
You make it sound like Congress was proactive, running ahead of the curve, rather than making a few laws when headlines and decency forced their greedy hands.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Why engage in such nit-picking?
You have to know that taking an anti-labor position is going to be suspect.

Moreover, where do you think legislatively imposed safety standards came from? They didn't just happen to occur to some random congressman--they came from the demands of American labor. To deny the role of labor unions is disingenuous.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Nit-picking? The difference in wording makes the statement fundamentally different
It is in no way "anti-labor" to reject obvious errors. Being pro-labor doesn't mean accepting any unsupported false assertion that happens to make unions look good.

"To deny the role of labor unions is disingenuous."
Good, because I have done no such thing. It is just as disingenuous to claim that every single benefit was caused solely by unions.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Wow! You object to something that "makes the unions look good."
You're still being disingenuous in failing to address the role of unions and workers in bringing about legislation to protect workers.

Your assertion that "unions failed to provide workers safety, and needed the support of the rest of the public and government to ensure safe workplaces" is absurd. It was the failure of management to address union concerns that caused labor to seek legislative action.

You may wish to believe that those laws magically appeared out of the ether. The truth is that they never woud have been passed, much less even proposed, if not for labor unions.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Only if you pretend that the majority of Americans who are not in unions don't exist
It is disingenuous to claim that acts of government are the sole result of unions. Especially when they were vastly outnumbered by millions of non-union workers demanding the exact same thing from the government. They didn't magically appear, they had the support of millions of workers both union and non-union.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Nice try, but still a big fail
The fact that there were "millions of non-union workers" means nothing. It was ORGANIZED labor that made a difference.

The key word in "silent majority" is 'silent.' It was organized labor--the unions--that brought about progressive labor laws.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. The vast majority of people supported worker protection and elected people who enacted it
Without the vast non-union majority supporting them nothing could have happened. Without widespread non-union support they would have never gotten the people in office who supported worker safety, and they wouldn't have gotten Nixon to sign them.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. LOL!
Your notion that popular support just materialized out of thin air is laughable.

Who do you thnk mobilized voters to support those laws? Who do you think proposed them?

I hesitate to say it, Taitertots, but your theory defies reason--and history.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Now it has gone from being the sole cause to...
Merely suggesting it and advocating for it. They suggested and advocated, while the vast non-union majority caused it to happen.

They certainly played a role, but were not the sole cause or the dominant cause.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. "Merely suggesting it"...
I'm afraid you have some uninformed ideas about what unions ACTUALLY do. "Merely suggesting" is not in their playbook...

You may choose to believe that your "vast non-union majority" somehow dreamed up those laws on their own. But the truth is that not a single one of those labor laws would have even been proposed--much less passed--without organized labor.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. Not a single one of those laws would exist without the vast non-union majority
electing labor favorable politicians. So they couldn't exist without the vast majority of workers (non-union) supporting it. Their suggestions would be meaningless without the vast majority of people already supporting many of the same goals.

What makes you think that the non-union workers are so stupid that they can't tell what is in their best interest? Non-union workers are just as capable of determining what is in their best interest and voting for people who support it as union members.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #17
49. The OP exercised hyperbole.
"Solely" was overstating the case. "Principally" would have been a better choice of words. The issue isn't whether any other force contributed, it's whether unions were the driving force.

What you're doing is threadjacking.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #16
33. Sorry. I didn't see your post before I posted the ......
same thing RE: union lobbying FOR those safety standards.

What's REALLY sad is that those standards would NOT be passed today.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. The only reason OSHA was passed was thanks to a strong AFL-CIO lobby

Look through my labor history posts in the Labor Forum. It is in there. Or a strike by rail clerks to end the 18 hour day. After the SCOTUS upheld child labor, the labor lobby ended it. Minimum wage. Guess who. Labor and the socialist party. Same thing on work comp. Then there is the pay scale and benefits like a union shop, to keep unions out effect. These off the top of my head. Long day with lots of posts.

I got to hear this. What improvements in general were freely given to workers by corporations etc?

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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
32. Those safety standards would NOT have been........
legislatively imposed without the lobbying of organized labor.

And having personal experience in this matter, I also know that the enforcement of those safety standards was left to union officials. OSHA didn't have enough inspectors to cover the big plants, so the unions had to do it.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. Just like they would NOT have been legislatively imposed without the vast non-union majority...
electing and supporting favorable politicians. They can lobby all they want but it means nothing without wide spread support bringing in favorable candidates.
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tomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #35
44. who's stretching now?
give it up. your point is demonstrably lame.
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tomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
43. and who pushed for those standards?
i'm sure labor was strongly behind and motivating that legislation. just because it didn't happen in collective bargaining per se, doesn't mean it wasn't unrelated to the existence of unions.

any other examples?
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Chorophyll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
20. F*ckin' A.
:kick:
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
23. k&r n/t
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
27. +1000000
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
28. Kick and Recommend to the fucking moon!
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Populist_Prole Donating Member (774 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
31. Feel free to put as fine point on it as you like
Because you're spot-on.
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RegieRocker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
36. Wait a minute, you can't make $ 27.50 I only make $ 17.50! You're
Edited on Sun Feb-20-11 11:34 PM by RegieRocker
paid way too much!

:sarcasm:
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
37. K&R........We allowed the far right wing
in this nation to define labor unions for decades. Just like they defined 'liberals'. This nation has been under the influence of a massive decades long disinformation campaign. Either we mount an equal and opposite effort or we are done.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
39. You are very correct on all of it
The thread is hilarious, the only counter is 'well, after women and children died, Congress also acted, so it is not JUST unions'. And that is pitiful.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
40. Funny how $27.50 an hour is criticized (which is what 55K a year?) - while CEO million dollar
Edited on Mon Feb-21-11 07:09 AM by TBF
bonuses are A-OK.... kinda makes you wonder who writes the "news"

:crazy:
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
41. major kick
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
42. recommend
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
45. ITA. IME, many people that bitch about unions don't know jack about them.
Or about labor history, either.

I guess they think employers decided to pay more than $1.00 a day and give workers benefits* out of the goodness of their hearts. :rofl: if it wasn't so sad.



*Which, I guess I don't need to tell you guys, are becoming a thing of the past.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
46. $11 was a great wage 35 years ago for an apprentice
carpenter, which was the first year wage back when i did that. that was half of a journeyman's wage. it was only great money to me because i was female. to the men i worked with, it was almost too low to bother with. lots of guys who wouldn't have minded getting the journeyman's wage wouldn't lower themselves to take half of that, even tho you got a raise every year for the next 4 years. and in those days you expected a raise every year or 2 after that.

but most of us saw what was happening as the southern states undermined the construction workers, first with non-union skilled labor. even tho the unions were still strong, there was enough of a trickle of guys who had a beef with the union for one reason or another. lots of times it was that they didn't want to strike. but the wages were still okay, cuz the unions were still setting the prevailing wage. but the more they undermined the unions, the more the thing started to tip.

i remember guys going to texas when houston was booming. they worked for the lower wages down there and received the enmity of the old codgers who saw it all coming.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. In desperation about 8 months ago I applied for a local manufacturing job @ $9 per hour
Afterward, I spoke with a friend who's a few years older than I am, and he was appalled.

Turns out that he worked that same job for that same company at that same plant for the same wage, but back in 1975.

In essence, the wage hadn't increased at all in 35 years, and it had in fact shrunken sharply when adjusted for 2010 dollars.


One can only conclude that this would be the norm in the workplace if employers could figure out how to get away with it.
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
48. K&R
:thumbsup:
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du_da Donating Member (239 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
50. In today's society
the corporations absolutely would have accepted those things. Either that or they would be out of business due to lack of workers. They have no choice, mobility and information availability create or at the very least maintain a competitive environment for labor. The reason we had to have unions in the first place was that there was no market for labor so the laborers had no alternatives. This is not the case today and above all else, ignoring this reality is our biggest failing in regards to unions. Unions have to evolve to become a partner in the business process instead of an obstacle thus providing a valued service both to the worker and the employer.

Unions have a place in the market but they have to adapt with the times and realize that the people demand continued justification. Right or wrong, it is about what have you done lately.


The worst thing that every happened for unions, was the day they started behaving like for profit organizations but maintained the mindset of nobility of being a privileged non-profit.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. I've heard that same argument before, typically on AM radio
If the past 10 decades is any indication, corporations will eagerly shit on their workers as much as possible, as long as it doesn't directly compromise the bottom line. Even if it compromises the bottom line but does so to a lesser degree than would be achieved by not shitting on the workers, then they'll shit on the workers.

The notion that unions ("an obstacle" in your estimation) are the problem is absurd and frankly out of touch with reality. It would be like claiming that John Doe deserved to be assaulted because he'd previously hired an attorney to represent him.
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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
51. Unions greatly expanded the Middle Class in America
And you're right -- they had to fight (and sometimes die) for every advancement in the cause of decent wages & working conditions.

What we're seeing today is the corporate interests trying to exploit the economic crisis THEY CREATED in an historical opportunity to roll back the progress of the last century by busting unions. It's pure unadulterated GREED disguised as fiscal necessity.

The sad thing is they've cloaked this agenda in a conservative ideology eagerly lapped up by ignorant teahats who've been trained to vote against their own economic interests.
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
52. For sure. K&R.
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