Sunday, August 5, 2012
Union Messages Already Written
Our union messages have already been written. All we need to do is put them on the television, radio and in print. One message we need for California union workers was written by UAW past president Walter Reuther: There’s a direct relationship between the breadbox and the ballot box and what the union fights for and wins at the bargaining table can be taken away in the legislative halls and our members need to understand this or we will lose this in the fall election. The second union message was written by a union leader past president of the AFL, Samuel Gompers, was titled “What Does Labor Want?” "We want more schools, houses, and less jails, more books and less arsenals, more learning and less greed, more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful, and childhood more happy and bright." The third message comes from President Franklin Roosevelt on wages. He wrote in 1933 that “no business, which depends for its existence on paying less than living wages to its workers, has any right to continue in this country. I mean more than a bare subsistence level. I mean the wages of decent living.” The fourth message comes from On the Future of America past president of the mine workers John L. Lewis wrote, “Let the workers organize. Let the toilers assemble, let their crystalized voices proclaim their injustices and demand their privileges, let all thoughtful citizens sustain them for the future of labor is the future of America.” We the wage slave workers must rebuild our membership and work to get our respect back if we do this then the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower will ring true again: “Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join a union of their choice.” On the importance of education of our working families, old and young, Cesar Chavez, past president of the Farm Workers, wrote: “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducated the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. And you cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” These are just a few of the thoughts and beliefs of our past union leaders so my question is where are our present day leaders? Are they just administering and not leading? Most educated people can administer, but it takes special people to be leaders and this is what we desperately need at this time. Are our present leaders afraid of the Taft-Hartly Act, which bans secondary boycotts, and closed shops (which makes union leaders liable for strike and related damages) if so, that goes with the job and this is why we have legal counsel. Leadership does not start at the bottom. It starts at the very top and works down and if our members don’t know labor history then who in the hells fault is it? If we are not proud of our union membership how can we expect support of other wages slaves so we need to get our history and workers’ message out to the public. Just like all corporations do to keep their image positive in the eye of their customers. We need to spend our money on our image.