STOP THE WAR....ON WORKING FAMILIES
| A CO-WORKER recently recounted a long, nasty and heinous divorce proceeding
that he referred to as World War III. The couple had both worked hard for
over twenty years, saving and investing wisely with great care, and had
three wonderful children whom they had both nurtured and provided a loving
and stable home through their coordinated leadership. They had bought a
house and started a good business and took pride in their accomplishments.
But the pressure became too great and they started growing apart until they
realized that they could no longer settle their differences amicably. In
fact, they became so angry at each other that they grew vengeful and
spiteful of each other and their separation and divorce was so nasty and
drawn out, that every fiscal and material resource that they had accumulated
was used to spite the other through lawyers, abuse experts, investigators,
psychologists, legal proceedings and anyone else who could provide any
service to make the other suffer. By the time the dissolution was final,
they were penniless and despised by their children.
As the co-worker was recounting World War III, I began to think of another
war. I thought about how hard the working families have worked to have made
the gains and accomplishments that have made this country a great place to
live and nurture our families. A five-day work week, minimum wage, over-time
pay, Worker’s Compensation, anti-discrimination laws, labor laws, employment
contracts, employer funded health care, pension, retirement, social
security….and the list goes on. Looking back, there have certainly been some
accomplishments that our working families can be proud of.
But lately, our accomplishments have come under attack. The great
leadership that helped us achieve these great accomplishments has grown
spiteful and distrustful of one another, and they have now lost the ability
to settle their differences amicably, leaving us vulnerable at a time when
we need them the most. Now, instead of the much needed coordinated
leadership, there is the nasty, heinous battle for control of the workers
and their dues money. The resources of our working families. And it couldn't
’t have come at a worse time.
Because of the economic downturn, a war has been declared. It is a war
against our accomplishments, our way of life….. our working families. So who
is this enemy that we must now contend with? Who dares put our families and
our great accomplishments in economic harms’ way?
It’s not who….it’s what. It is greed, gluttony and selfishness. It’s the
idea that there are entities that must not be allowed to fail and must be
bailed out with public money…while the working families can be allowed to
The high salaries of the “best and brightest” must continue… even if it
means double-digit unemployment for the working families.
We must bail out banks and financial institutions…but demand that working
families accept lower wages and egregious concessions….maybe even food
stamps, if there is sufficient funding for the program.
Security for Wall Street…. but none for the jobs that the working families
But there is now a golden opportunity to get back some of the strength that
the working families once had. The hope, which was touted during the Obama
campaign, may have a chance. We have a chance to pass the Employee Free
Choice Act (EFCA). But we must be united and speak with one loud thunderous
voice and muster a mighty unified and organized push. Now is the time for
the working families to organize, for it may be generations before an
opportunity like this will ever materialize ever again.
But the business community and corporate America are making the sounds of
popping corks and tinkling Champaign glasses in a successful toast over
their eminent victory to thwart the passage of the EFCA……. without firing a
And what about are our union leaders? Last I heard they were busy using our
hard earned money and resources to battle each other through, lawyers,
investigators, legal proceedings and anyone else who could provide any
service to make the other suffer.
We know where this is going, don’t we? We know what’s coming next, don’t
It’s time to stop.
It’s time to stop the war….on working families.
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