State of the Union
The Primary elections are over and the winning candidates will be defining and refining their positions for the upcoming November elections. But will candidates address the issues affecting the lives of workers and their struggle to survive day in and day out? Will it be lip service or actual work and progress to change a system that continues to crumble under the weight of campaign money?
As history has shown many times over, labor will once again be out working hard supporting those who have identified with issues important to workers and unions. What does this really mean anymore?
In the old days, the Democratic Party was generally given the automatic stamp of approval for its candidates from labor. But with the influx of massive amounts of corporate money into both major parties and union density in a downward spiral, the working class seems to have lost some of its relevancy when it comes to our elected officials addressing workers' issues.
State of the Union
We get up, we make our pot of coffee, and trudge off to work not thinking that we may never return home. We get to work, do our jobs, wait for the end of our shift and head back home to do it all over again.
Sometimes, though, a few of us don't make it home. We never see our families again, never enjoy another weekend, never again engage in those activities we work to live for.
Some employees are fortunate enough to escape the ultimate cost of working but end up losing a finger, an arm, or perhaps their ability to function independently. They live, yet their lives are altered permanently, and they must find a new way to cope with the everyday necessities.
These aren't topics most of us want to talk about, however death and injury on the job is still a price many of us will pay for working.
American workers have lived and learned the hard lessons from employers who would rather cause strikes, lockouts, violence, factory shutdowns, unemployment, blacklisting, and death than deal with a group of workers as a single entity.
Among all industrialized countries, the United States has by far the most violent labor history. Organize into a union and your collective power will terrify the boss.
But American employers eventually figured out that if workers were made to work long and irregular hours, they would be too tired to organize.