Wisconsin. What the hell is going on in Wisconsin?
For the first time in many years I think we are actually seeing what this country is based on.
We are actually seeing our representatives standing up and saying NO!
The people have come out and come to the state capitol and said NO!
Unions, no matter how you feel about them, are necessary. They protect all workers, Union and non-Union. I know that with out Unions we would still be working 80 hours a week and working weekends. Holidays and vacations would be a pipe dream. Sick and can’t make it to work? Too bad, your fired. Your teenage children, would be working because it would be the only way you could afford to feed them. But the Wisconsin Governor apparently wants to go back to those times, along with the Tea Party members and the rest of the Republican party. The Unions that the Governor is supposedly battling have already said they will buy into the increased pay ins to the health care benefits and the increased pay ins to the pension funds. What they are protesting is their right for bargaining power with the government. Take away those bargaining powers and the government can do what ever they want to them and they will have no recourse to fight it. This is the goal of the Tea Party and the corporatist Republicans. Reduce working people to wage slaves.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Union lover, I just understand the necessity. I worked for an abrasive brush manufacturing company and was a member of the steel workers union when I was 25. I started out sweeping floors, it was mindless and I was just glad to have a job. Within a week they sat me down in front of a brush assembly machine, after a few minutes I figured out the rythm of the machine. Not too long after that there was a guy behind me with a stop watch. Keep in mind this was a manufacturer that was a union shop. This means they paid piece work. If you produced more than what they considered the standard you received a bonus. I received a bonus after my first night.
They then moved me to their shipping department. I loved it. It was a great job. I was at the end of a conveyor belt where orders came down the belt and I had to box them up and get them ready for UPS to pick the boxed orders up. It was one of the easiest jobs I ever had. Unfortunately after about 4 months in this job they started having lay offs. This was during the so wonderful Reagan years. Anyone that lived through those years and wasn’t some kind of millionaire doesn’t need me to explain what really happened during those years. Reagan was supposed to be some kind of miracle worker, not so much.
Of course it goes without saying that I was laid off since I was the new guy in the department. Didn’t matter that I was one of the hardest workers, it was as ta la vista baby for me. While I can understand the theory behind that kind of decision, I have a hard time with the reality of that choice. I don’t blame the company, I don’t even blame the union, I blame the employee who took advantage of the union protection and got to keep his job while I lost mine. Some may find that cold. Some may find that selfish. But I really don’t regret the way I feel about how I lost my job at what was a pretty good company. Besides, after all the dues I paid into the steel workers union they did nothing for me. I went to the local union office to see what they had to offer. They had nothing. It was the first and last time I ever collected unemployment. I was out of work for a month before I found a job driving forklift. Of course it was a non-union shop. At that time I was not impressed with union shops and was actually disillusioned by them.
Prior to this I worked in a bottling plant shagging loads of soda. This meant going around slinging cases of quart bottles of soda. Before that I worked on a farm. While a very satisfying job it was very physical. Carrying 80lb bags of corn a 100 yards or more out of a corn field. Picking up hay all summer long. Delivering wood in the winter. For me the farm job was a year round experience. These were all non-union jobs and I never got laid off from any of them. So you can understand why I had a problem with unions.
But as I got older and started to work in office jobs, I came to understand the good that unions had accomplished. I and my wife had the opportunity to move to another state in 1985 for a decent increase in pay. I went from being a blue collar worker to being a white collar worker. I went back to school and was lucky enough to work for a company that paid full reimbursement for the courses and books. That was phenomenal. And showed some of the true benefits of what unions did for workers. I never would have been able to go to college without that kind of benefit. Unfortunately, I know there are not many companies who provide that kind of benefit anymore. To me that is a sign of the union busting and the Republican control.
So to Wisconsin, I say keep it up. If I could get there I would join you. To Ohio and Illinois, don’t let the government scare you, follow in Wisconsin’s foot steps. To the Democratic Legislation in Wisconsin, don’t return until this bill is recalled. The state police can’t touch you as long as you are in Illinois. Not to mention can you believe the Governor sent the state police after you? Maybe you need to look into that when you finally return to the state. That has to be an abuse of power since you haven’t done anything wrong. At least the last time I checked non-violent disagreement and protests were not against the law. You are obviously on the side of the people. Though only 25,000 have come to the capital to protest I have yet to see any counter protests. To me this means that the Governor and his Republican controlled legislation are trying to push through a bill that the people don’t want. That right there says it all. Dear MR Governor, you serve at the behest of the people, do what the people want. This is a perfect example of the people standing up to the government and their supposed majority and saying loud and clear, NO you are wrong and we will not stand for it no matter how many people you think you have on your side.
Beware America, Wisconsin, Ohio & Illinois have given us a glimpse of what we are really in for over the next 2 years. More Labor busting. More Labor abuse. More government telling you what you can and can’t do despite their chant of smaller government. They want your money, they want your life and they want your property. I see the robber barons of the late 1800’s occurring all over again. And no I am not paranoid. I will probably not do to bad in the last years of my working life and retirement. Fortunately for me I started a 401k when I was very young and it has accrued a decent amount of money. But it doesn’t mean I’m not worried about what I see happening in this country over the past 10 years. It is a little scary.
I know I may have put too much personal experiences into this and not enough facts, but I hope the point I was trying to get across came out. I believe some unions have got out of control, but without unions corparate America would be our government and we would all be wage slaves. That is completely against everything this country was built on. It is completely against everything our founding fathers believed in. Can amybody say East India Trade Company? So to all you Tea Party people, please learn what our country is really about. Please learn what the Constitution really says.