Monday, March 14, 2011
Up-Rising in Wisconsin
Strange things are happening all over the land, and dare I say the world, by people who have been oppressed for far too long by tyrants who maintained corrupt oligarchies, monarchies, and dictators. There was a time not too long ago, some say, even now economically, when the American government segregated Negro’s by law denying almost all rights. I saw it as isolation through poverty and denying voting rights without conscience. When Negro’s rallied for these rights and changes because of bigotry and racism; most whites asked why. When African Americans suffered under what was nothing more than an Apartheid like system for centuries; the rest of America asked what’s the problem? Fast forward to now – it’s happening to them!
The rich and the good ol’ boys, Republicans driven by the right, are now imposing the same tactics and agenda on the middle class to maintain economic privilege. These actions, denying rights, use to be relegated primarily in southern states and designed to disenfranchise – Blacks and the poor. The latest assaults surprisingly are happening taking place in mostly northern states, although throughout America directed at the middle class through assaults upon the union. We must remember that it is because of unions that working people have elevated their station in life providing Americans with the opportunity for employers to not abused labor in the workplace.
This past November the people of the other hue voted overwhelmingly with their heart, or something that I can’t fathom, electing these mean-spirited Republicans and now we see the results. We must remember that the GOP right wing folks are strong proponents and advocates of “States Rights”, which really amounts to maintaining a permanent underclass. It appears to me that people are realizing that a huge and dangerous mistake has been made. The Republicans and Tea Baggers continue to say they are listening to the American people but they do not seem to hear the voices of the American people who have been “Up-Rising” for the last month.
Just imagine if what happened in Egypt and all over North Africa were to happen here in America, meaning people are feed up and are simply asking for fairness with respect to simply wanting to be able to live. Or worst yet, that the faces and people demonstrating were primarily Black and Brown. Let’s think about this for a minute. Hmmm! Wisconsin was in many ways the most unlikely place for such a political conflagration. In a state that was the first to grant collective-bargaining rights to its public employees, back in 1959 to have those rights taken away in such a gansta approach.
We must remember that it is because of collective bargaining and unions that worker enjoy vacations, better wages, benefits, and child labor laws but more importantly “better working conditions”. Here are a few examples from a time the right wants to return:
On March 25, 1911, 146 women burned to death or jumped to their deaths in the infamous Triangle fire. This tragedy resulted from the Triangle Company's refusal to provide safety measures of any sort. The workers were trapped in the burning building because the company had locked the doors on each floor of the tall apparel factory from the outside to prevent workers from shirking or stealing.
In January 1913, wage cuts and poor working conditions in Lawrence precipitated in a strike by more than 20,000 textile workers, many of them women and children. Police brutality against the strikers and extensive press coverage of the strike ironically transformed a desperate struggle among the poorest of workers into one of the most sig¬nificant victories in American labor history. As a result of the strike not only were wages raised and conditions improved in the textile industry as a whole, but important legislation was also enacted that restricted the exploitation of child and female labor (Marshall and Briggs, 1989).
History has shown that centering the rich and industry into fewer and fewer hands makes impossible for unions to cope with that ever growing power and had negative effects upon working people, now called the middle class. Moreover, unions aid workers as the bargaining arm to negotiate with employers for fairness, which is in most cases in interests that are common with employers.
Here is another horrible example of what has happened: The famous mas¬sacre in the mining town of Ludlow, Colorado; workers striking against the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, owned by John D. Rockefeller, had been evicted from their company housing and were living with their families in tents. On Easter night of 1914, while the men were at a meeting, company gunmen set fire to the tents. Thirteen women and children died in the fire or were shot to death as they were running out of the tents. Five other strikers were shot to death as they tried to help the women and children escape (Boyer and Morais, 1955).
Instead of the conservative old motto, "A fair day's wage for a fair day's work," we should inscribe on the banners for this new fight, "Abolition of the collective bargaining is a crime."
The army of production must be organized, not only for the everyday struggle with capitalists for democracy, but also to carry on production when capitalism may require the crooks of Wall Street to be overthrown. There is no need to organize a new industrial system, improve upon it, America should be asking for a structure of a new society within the shell of the old.
Forget the Free Trade Agreement, buy American, produce industry at home, and stop sending the jobs overseas would be a good first step and that is my Thought Provoking Perspective.
I think everyone needs to open a book or Goggle labor unions evolution to learn the history of what people like this will do to you if left unchecked and unrestricted. I read a statistic last week that said, “400 of the richest people in America hold more wealth than 160, 000, 000 American’s”. The Robber Barons, bankers, and capitalist expect working people to be servants to their greed and so far it’s working.