Monday, August 5, 2013

The Fight For Minimum Wage

The fight for minimum wage shows the GOP is using Hitler’s playbook of 1933 against workers is in the legislation introduced and supported by 36 senators led by Tom Coburn and Rand Paul. This bill would make it virtually impossible for Congress to enact any legislation intended to improve working conditions or regulate the work place, such as a federal minimum wage, eliminate the National Labor Relations Board laws, overtime pay, and discrimination laws. They could, under the Roberts’ U.S. Supreme Court, roll back existing protections for workers, such as Medicare and the 1918 Child Labor laws. But, as I see it, this is about the push for a $15 an hour wage for our low-income workers so our wage slaves should also be looking at what the cities, counties and states can do to make the minimum wage increase a reality. These government entities do have the authority to set a minimum wage for their people and most federal laws start with what people in the cities, counties and state governments want or force these governments to do. The advantage of working for the minimum wage at the local level is less money has to be spent, closer to home and much easier to elect people who will support the workers. Remember, the best defense is a good offense. So, the workers fighting for a living wage need to spread the pressure around, keep their leadership loose, stay away from contracts and keep their collected money fluid, do not have purchase assets. These workers need to collect a funding source to hire lawyers in case they are arrested. Unions could help with this effort and our unions should back away from fighting the effort of the low-wage workers to organize. We have had years to organize them and have done nothing. I was a union organizer once upon a time and always wondered why the AFL/CIO did not make a move to organize the food and low-wage industry, and now the workers are doing it themselves. Some unions are bitter. I say get the hell over it and enjoy your luck at having a union pension and healthcare, and damn good wages. As the old saying goes: lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. It is time to step up and take a chance for this is the last chance for labor. We need this win for our workers and our country. A $15 an hour minimum is needed, fight for it.