Wednesday, August 3, 2016

It's Up To Us

Laborers of the world over must stop depending on governments to look out for their interests. At this time no political party is working for or defending workers. Government policies now are pitting people against each other by promoting and establishing wars resulting in millions of refugees. The refugees flood host countries for safety, but end up being used as cheap labor by those benefitting from the wars the refugees are fleeing. This cheap labor is used to break the unions and labor laws and drives wages and benefits down. Nothing can stop this but the people. The governments and the oligarchies make their profits off the misery of others. Labor has always won when they were in charge. Labor laws were not put into place to help the workers, they were established by President Franklin Roosevelt to stop strikes, which were beating back the nonunion workers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules were to replace the decisions that were being made from fighting for rights in the streets. Now, these fights for rights are being taken to the NLRB, this worked for a while, but not so much today. To win in today’s anti-union environment, we must go back to the streets. The world is now controlled by the big banks, Wall Street and a few very, very rich people. The banks can make or break entire countries. Just look at how they changed the government of Italy, collapsed the economy of Greece, Ireland, and Spain; and tried the same thing with Puerto Rico. The Brits are taking another look at things, like the EU, and France is in the very same fight for their union lives with the government and terrorism. Here in the U.S., we are headed down a every slippery slope with the general election coming up, and the only hope we had was cheated out of his rightful position as the Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders. Sanders advocated for everything the oligarchs and politicians paid off by these monied people didn’t want. His platform promoted single-payer healthcare; pensions; raising the cap on Social Security, which would expand the program; protection of unions; free junior college tuition, like it used to be; and addressing climate change in a meaningful way. But what we have now are an attacks on union pensions, the right to form unions, Social Security, and our healthcare premiums are rising with less coverage because the insurance companies want to make higher profits. Drug companies are pricing lifesaving drugs out of the reach of ordinary people. None of these things will be solved by others. It will be the will of the people on the ground, but we still need leaders with a vision and knowhow to show us the way like Sanders was doing until they silenced him. We need leaders like Frances Perkins, who fought to get the people the rights many of us take for granted, like Social Security, unemployment insurance and a minimum wage. Labor at this time and for the past 40 years has been in a defensive mode and defenses will always be defeated by a good offense in time, according to the Art of War. So, labor must go back on the offense like before the NLRB was established. We need to go back to the streets, like the trailblazers of the 1920s and ‘30s.