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All Workers Have Benefited From Unions - Tom Clementi/PostCrescent

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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:57 PM
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All Workers Have Benefited From Unions - Tom Clementi/PostCrescent
All workers have benefited from unions
Tom Clementi - PostCrescent
5:25 AM, Apr. 7, 2011

<snip>

Weekend. The word itself creates a smile. For most of us, that time between Friday afternoon and Monday morning is ours, almost an inviolate right. The current controversy regarding the political-labor situation in Wisconsin has made me think more about words like weekend, vacations and 40-hour-week. So many Americans somehow think that these things have always existed.

The airwaves and press are filled with the pros and cons of Gov. Scott Walkers proposals, and exactly what rights public union employees have. Even in this newspaper, some letters have stated that collective bargaining isnt a right. When I read statements like that, Im reminded of my grandfathers warning about taking things for granted. He arrived in America at age 13 and went to work in a Milwaukee factory, six days a week, maybe 15 cents per hour. No vacations. No overtime pay. Not much in terms of workplace safety. No fringe benefits.

That was 1912, and weve come a long way since. But exactly how did we get here? Those improvements in workers lives didnt just happen. They were part of a long, arduous struggle that began in the 1870s with that word union that factory owners and other businessmen so strongly opposed. Union organizers were called un-American socialists and anarchists.

It wasnt until the 1930s that the federal government recognized unions and the 40-hour week was established. Two generations of American workers fought for things we now take for granted. In 1959, under a bipartisan state Legislature, Wisconsin became the first state to grant collective bargaining rights to municipal employees firemen, policemen, sanitation workers, etc. In 1967, a Republican Legislature and a Republican governor (yes, Republican) extended that right to state employees.

Collective bargaining not a right? It sure is; federal and state law has said so. And since when do we Americans remove rights from our own citizens?

<snip>

More: http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110407/APC06/1104... |newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

:kick:
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 05:53 PM
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1. K&R!
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Populist_Prole Donating Member (774 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:26 PM
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2. Had a "dicussion" with a neocon coworker
a Fox news watching Atlas Shrugged reading loudmouth. We're both union members too, though he clearly takes his for granted. I can't get over how they think they try to de-link free-market fundamentalism from their own situations.

I asked if he thought that if cons totally eviscerate public employee unions, did he really think they wouldn't come after private ones? That there will be a "next" after they get their way here? He hemmed and hawwed, and said maybe it might not be so bad to cut out a middleman between the company and us. I asked: "Do you really think that if the union was gone, your terms of employment ( compensation, work-rules ) would be the same as now?" More hemming and haw-ing. He brought up terrorism, guns and socialism blah blah blah. A just said he's too much for Hollywood.

What a fucking idiot.
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:10 PM
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3. Kick !!!
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crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:33 AM
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:42 AM
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5. K & R
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