In the last few years, initiatives designed to lower labor standards, weaken unions and erode workplace protections have been launched. Such far-reaching and mean-spirited structural changes weaken the bargaining power and political influence of organized labor.

As we pay tribute to the worker on Labor Day, let us honor labor leaders and union members committed to social justice and equal economic opportunity for all people. With our voices let us show support of organized labor and necessary measures to strengthen unions.

And in local and national elections let us cast our votes in support of candidates who agree it is unacceptable to treat workers as little more than obstacles in the path to bigger profits.

James Kimes,

Prescott Valley

(5) comments

Justsayin141

Yes, I agree it's time to stand up for ourselves.!

ronzim

When my dad became seriously ill, we were living in a tiny un-air-conditioned metal box in the middle of a desert sand lot. We were unkindly referred to as “trailer trash” by so-called sophisticates. His union brothers stepped in and began picking him up for work every day and assigning him jobs he could manage. But for their kindness and generosity, we would have gone hungry. Soon, he couldn’t do even that and died at 47. The union arranged and paid for his funeral and his union brothers acted as pall bearers. I will never forget what the union meant to us in those lamentable days and will support unions for as long as I live. For those who have never known the difference between union scale and capitalistic subsistence wages, step back for a moment and reflect on the difference between a living wage and poverty for full-time work. That also applies to safe working conditions.

My two grandmothers, my mom, and my two aunts buried 15 husbands among them. Several died from dangerous on-the-job working conditions before unions and OSHA. Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. My paternal grandmother lost her right arm, at age 11, while working in a commercial laundry (caught in open machinery gears). No union, no OSHA. She had a tough life on the streets but had true grit and rose to the top of the Columbus bootlegging mob. After prison, she converted her speakeasies into night clubs and prospered again. I often wonder what she might have been with child labour laws, a good union and OSHA?

Justsayin141

Wow what a story. Your grandmother was a wild and amazing woman. I was a Union member and representive for the Communication Workers of America for 15 yrs in California. That is when I say was the last time I had a "real" job. The "right to work" states are terrible for the. employee.

Lib&Proud

I totally agree that unions are the most important organizations that American workers can look to. My husband is a retired Teamster, and I was always proud that he was a member of the Teamsters Union. Because of his Teamster pension, we are able to retire somewhat comfortably. The break down of the unions is why corporate greed in this country is out of control. We need unions to stand up for workers, manual and non-manual, to make sure that our working conditions are safe and our wages fair. Places like Walmart, Amazon and the like, which are not union, have been allowed to take advantage of their labor force by keeping them away from full paying jobs at a decent wage. By keeping workers to part time work, many of these rich corporations can deny medical and other benefits to their workers. Enough already! I say get rid of the the "right to work" designation that has been instilled in so many states. Organize labor and make American corporations pay their fair share to those individuals who contribute to the wealth of the corporations but receive little benefit and no recognition for that contribution. Doesn't matter who started this ball rolling against us, it's time to take control of the field and the game. American corporations have cheated millions of American workers by taking their business where labor is cheap and easily manipulated. We can pay them back by boycotting their goods. It's easy to find out who they are. It's time that CEO's stop earning 800% more than the workers. I'm tired of this lopsided work force. Let's make sure that hard work is rewarded.

ronzim

I agree, Lib. Right-to-work are code words for right-to-starve. We need for the DOJ to enter this fray as a full-on champion of labour and unions. We already have on the books the Fair Labor Standards Act and a full skein of anti-trust laws with which to knit together a better fitting garment of redistribution of income and wealth, if abetted by a more progressive tax structure.

Nothing matters, however, if the DEMS fail this last opportunity to end the filibuster and reform SCOTUS by increasing the court, because they will just overrule the will of the Congress and the vast majority wishes of the American people. Failing that, we are doomed to endure a fascist theocracy. At least three states now comprise the American Taliban with subsets of al Q’eada, and they have the full support of the Roberts court. If the White Nationalist Party regains control which in my opinion can only be averted by those two reforms, we are in for a true American horror story. We need another New Deal, not another Bad Deal.

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