So here we are, the one day off a year we celebrate the contributions that Labor has made to our country and well being. And just this week, we had to endure Trump claiming he wanted to deny federal employees their yearly raise in January because of budget pressures (link to Fox News Report just so Trumpers couldn’t claim “Fake News”). The same budget pressures caused by the Republican Corporate Welfare Act, I mean the tax bill passed by them, and signed by the president this year.
First, full disclosure here, I am a past card-carrying member of the Steelworkers, Boilermakers, and UAW unions. As a young man, I remember being unhappy to pay my dues to an organization that I felt did nothing for me. But, all I wanted at the time was beer and gas money. I wasn’t thinking about the future.
I have watched with dismay as union membership has diminished, and the wealth gap (this time a link to Fox Business News) has grown. Now, I could throw facts and figures at you to show that wages for all of the middle class are impacted as union jobs disappear from the fabric of the nation, but that would be a waste of time.
True anti-union believers would shout fake news, and pro-union advocates would nod in agreement. But I want to simply say that union labor in the country is at an historical low, and we have the largest wealth gap the country has seen for a long time.
We have full-time jobs that don’t pull people above the poverty line. We have the spectacle of the rich getting richer, and the Republicans pouring gas on the fire with budget busting tax breaks.
Unions speak for the worker. A voice that is important. One that makes the corporations pay attention. One that fights for better wages for their members, and serendipitously raises the wage floor around them. One that makes the workplace safe. One that gives families healthcare. It’s a shame that they have been given such a bad rap.
So for all of you Trump-lovers out there, struggling to make a living, in your low-wage, non-union, Right to Work states, happy Labor Day.
For all the rest of you, i.e. the non-drone population, vote the bums out this November.
P.S. Here is a link to a study performed in the Midwest comparing RTW and non-RTW states. Ok I lied, there are facts and figures in there. Have fun.