Unions and You

Ah, Wisconsin!

Well, this wouldn’t be the first time you’ve ever engaged in active union busting! Or the first time the Republican party has supported your efforts!

Speaking of which,
John Boehner! doesn’t disappoint us in his reaction.

I know we should trust our benevolent employers, who would never do anything to take advantage of us as workers. There is no need for us to organize. Who wouldn’t want a return to the 11-hour day? Or child labor? Or no health insurance? You pansies!

Never mind the following list o’ shame when we have placed our faith in the corporate establishment to take care of us, notably

The Tompkins Square Riot (1874)–beating women and children looking for work
The Bayview Massacre (1886)–lives lost on both sides of the issue for and against the 8-hour day
The Thibodaux Massacre (1887)–$1 a day more for sugar workers=killing them unarmed)
The Cripple Creek Massacre (1893)–There were several bloody battles, as those pesky miners wouldn’t give up.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (1911)–In this case, the managers were indicted for manslaughter as 147 workers, mostly women, lost their lives because they were locked in as a precaution against the “interruption of work”.
The Ludlow Massacre (1914)–John Rockefeller Jr. and friends inspire sworn-in state militia members to use a machine gun on a union tent camp.
The Battle of Matewan (1920)–Another mining incident, this one resulting on death on both sides.
Memorial Day Massacre (1937)–Bought to you by Republic Steel.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Most of these conflicts could have been avoided if the workers would have just taken what they were given.

The cry is now for fiscal responsibility. Never mind how we almost ended up in Depression 2 in the first place! The cry of people having to take cuts for fiscal responsibility is loud. Give up a few rights, government employees. There was no cost in blood to get them.

While we engage in cuts for a variety of programs, in my state, we’re doing this too:

From The Iowa Independent:

House File 194 takes the current individual income tax rates — which range from 0.36 percent to 8.98 percent — and reduces them to a range of 0.28 percent to 7.18 percent. The cut would cost $330 million in revenue in the 2012 budget year. In the following three budget years, it would cost $704 million, $711 million and $750 million.

“Iowans know best how to spend their money and the government has too much of it,” said state Rep. Tom Sands (R-Columbus Junction). “This legislation is long overdue and is one of the best things we can do to put Iowans back to work.

The Iowa Fiscal Partnership, a nonpartisan budget and tax policy think tank, analyzed the tax-cut legislation and determined the vast majority of benefits go to the wealthiest Iowans.”

This seems peculiar, somehow.

From The Gazette:

Branstad, who served as Iowa governor from 1983 to 1999, said he has set a goal of reducing state spending by 15 percent over the next five years – an effort that likely will require a public discussion about the appropriate level of wages and benefits for state employees that are subject to collective bargaining.

Which brings us back to Wisconsin, and makes me, a member of the NEA, watch the issue closely. Hey, you might say. Why should you have it better than so many Americans who don’t have health insurance, and low wages? Hey, I say. Why shouldn’t you have what I do when rich people are getting huge tax cuts?

Or to summarize, what the hell?

Ah, President Obama!
I am still drinking the Kool-Aid. Thank you for letting American workers know that you’re noticing another rich person’s shell game.

We return you to your regular writer programming.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

One thought on “Unions and You”

  1. Spot on! I’ve never understood the “benevolent corporation” paradigm. Corporations aren’t necessarily evil, but they are not at all motivated by public interest. In fact, that’s often at cross purposes with turning out a profit, the sole reason they exist. I can’t fathom why anyone would want to place them in charge of society’s general wellbeing. (Well, unless they are a shareholder. I guess I just answered by own question.)

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