If it weren't for unions, there would be no middle class.-- "Paul", web commenter on ABC News blog
America is being sold to the lowest bidders, and those whose jobs remain in this country are at the mercy of their employers.--Mary Shaw, writer and activist
This site is all about the quotes to me--keeping the collection alive and available, adding to it. This front page is primarily a pressure valve--a place to let off some excess steam when such a release is required.
Labor Day is a day of reflection for me. Labor Day is a day to remember that people died for fair wages and safe working conditions, that people died for the 8 hour work day. It's a time to be thankful for what we have versus what we would have without unions.
If you think for one second that your existence would be any different than that of the miners killed in Ludlow or the exploited immigrants in Lawrence, Massachusetts had it not been for unions, you're very much mistaken. But don't take my word for it. Now that our government is wholly owned by corporations--now that Republicans are rolling back worker protections such as the Child Labor laws and reneging on hard-earned pensions, now that Republicans are enacting laws forbidding collective bargaining itself, and, most importantly, now that Democrats are letting them and, in some cases, actively working with Republicans in this anti-worker crusade--you only need to stick around for a decade or so more and you'll live to experience it first hand.
The red line represents union membership rates from 1967 to 2009, while the blue line represents the middle class share of the nation's wealth. If you are making a living wage today, you can thank the unions, whether or not you're a member of one. If you are unemployed and/or not making enough to get by, you can thank the Republicans. It's true. Trace any of America's systemic problems back and you'll find their origins in the administration of Ronald Reagan. Of course that was before union bashing became bi-partisan fare. Before a Democratic President helped define "shared sacrifice" as workers sacrificing and the wealthy sharing that loot.
So no righteous rant from me today. Labor Day, for me, is a time of reflection. And, besides, I see no hope for the bottom 98% of Americans in the current political system. It appears things will have to get much much worse before they ever get better. If a righteous rant from me were enough to change any of that, I'm sure I'd never be permitted to make one.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.--Verbal (Kevin Spacey), in the film "The Usual Suspects" (1985)
Here's a fine piece by Judy Perry to help you reflect on the importance of Labor Day.
And here is a video of Woody Guthrie's "Ludlow Massacre". Happy Labor Day.