Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day 2007



Over the years I was a card carrying member of the Machinists Union. Now I have a withdrawal card due to the fact my physical limitations do not allow me to do the heavy mechanical work.

I was Journeyman in three areas, forklifts, semi-trucks, and locomotives in that order.
The work I did was overseen by an apprenticeship program ensuring the jobs would be done right the first time and the employer would get a quality job.

The unions provided collective bargaining for wages and benefits with employers, that way they would have a quality work force of trained individuals to provide a high degree of labor, for fair wages.

Unfortunately today most labor has been transferred overseas and many Union laborers are relegated to lower wage jobs with little or no health care benefits just to support their families.

The corporatistas determined Union labor, too expensive, and consuming too much profit from their bottom line, so they went to China, and the Philippines, and Indonesia and other places to produce goods with a better profit margin and no outlay of high wages and benefits.

The Unions, in an effort to keep up with the cost of living by raising wages and benefits at contract time, essentially priced themselves out of a job. Too bad because the element of quality went out the door with those jobs.

Will the Unions come back strong again? Not likely, the die has been cast, consumers will accept shoddy goods, just more trash for the landfills of America when cheap stuff breaks.

Labor Day will go on but many of the Union workers will not, displaced by the demand for cheap goods and unable to compete against them.

.

36 comments:

DEN said...

OO BOY! slept in reeeel late today, drank too many beers last night with friends, back to work tomorrow, EWWWW! Short week anyway.

Carry on!

Gerald said...

A Tear in the Soul

Gerald said...

"When you cross over that line of darkness, it’s hard to come back. You lose your soul. You can do your best to justify it, but . . . you can’t go back to that dark a place without it changing you." - anonymous CIA officer.

"If we, the people, are ultimately condemned by a world court for our complicity and silence in these war crimes, we can always try to echo those Germans who claimed not to know what Hitler and his enforcers were doing. But in Nazi Germany, people had no way of insisting on finding out what happened to their disappeared neighbors."

We, on the other hands, still have what may be the last days of freedom. How will we use this precious gift?

Gerald said...

Why Republicans bailed out on Craig

Gerald said...

The important thing, of course, is that Clinton never held himself up as the epitome of sexual morality. He was and may well still be a hound, looking to bed any woman he can. That's his and Hillary's business and, at least he isn't chasing anonymous sex in a public bathroom.

I don't care if Craig copulates with men or women. I don't care if he's into auto-eroticism. I don't care if he's celibate. I do care, however, about the hypocrisy of a man who apparently has so much self-hatred that he cannot come to grips with who he really is. Especially when he makes a very strange claim that he "is not gay and never has been gay." Huh? I didn't know you could switch teams.

micki said...

Most of us have worked for most of our lives. It is the fortunate among us who did work that they loved, with an added bonus if the work was worthwhile and a positive contribution to society.

Perhaps if we all remembered that it was workers taking action that ended child labor, the 14-hour workday, unsafe and unhealthy workplace conditions, etc., we could come together once again and make positive changes in our country.

Afterall, it is not war with other countries that brought us the right to vote, the right to organize, freedom of speech, public education, the five day work week. No -- it was ordinary working people who joined together and forced changes for the benefit of us all. The labor movement made a middle class possible.

Yes, ordinary, everyday citizens coming together against the greed of the few made this country great.

I have to hope that we can find our way again. Without hope, paralysis sets in.

Gerald said...

Craig Shafts Veterans

Gerald said...

Micki, great post!!!

Gerald said...

But Craig's real sin about which he should have been driven from office is screwing over our veterans who serve our country.

micki said...

A glimpse at the "success" in Iraq, as the British retreat from Basra:

The people of Basra face an uncertain future. Hassan Ibrahim, a 48-year-old teacher, said: " There was criticism of the British because people felt they did not do enough to stop the criminals, some of whom are even in the police. But a lot of people also say that things could get much worse if they leave. One thing we are uneasy about are rumours that the Americans may come to Basra to replace the British. We see what is happening in Baghdad and we don't want that here."

micki said...

Thanks, Gerald.

Gerald said...

The more info that I have on Larry Craig the more gleeful I am of his hypocrisy being shown to the American public. This time Craig encounters a B.O.H.I.C.A. day. Craig finally gets screwed!!!

David B. Benson said...

"some communities are setting up drug 'take-back' programs at pharmacies and police stations so that consumers have an alternative to flushing them and overmedicating our waterways."

From the most recent Sierra.

Carey said...

Yes, Micki, and Den, great posts. Honor our bloody, hard-fought labor history. Hooray unions!

Tired, hot. But a wonderful Labor Day to you all!

Tomorrow is the start of school. Hard to believe in this heat wave but that happens often in San Diego. We'll be kind of busy getting adjusted to school with all the various hassles.

Get ready for the same ole, same old from Bushco this week. It will be stunning in it's banality and chutzpah as such.

Wasn't that ever so banal--that quick trip to Iraq over Labor Day?

David--that's a practical and great program!

micki said...

There once was a hothead from Crawford,
Who made history ignoring the draft board,
He went to Iraq,
Thus causing some flak,
Not giving a damn he was totally abhorred.

micki said...

Have I ever mentioned that I can't stand that SOB?

Well. I can't.

The gall of the bastard sneaking into Iraq to "make news" on Labor Day.

A$$hole.

micki said...

Carey -- time for them to roll out the new product.

Gag.

Carey said...

Oh I forgot. I heard Pat Buchanan say on the McGlaughlin Group that he reads the Matt Drudge Report as his morning paper.

Yep.

Just whipped that out Micki, didn't you, that clever little ditty?

micki said...

In my earlier post, I pointed out that it was ordinary citizens who "fought" for the right to vote, the right to organize, the five-day work week, public education, etc. -- we did not achieve any of those important milestones as a result of fighting a military war in a foreign country. Frankly, that's one reason my hackles go up when we're constantly told that our men and women fighting in a faraway land are protecting our freedoms. That's crapola of the first order.

I realize this post will not make me very popular...

I'm so sick of hearing "support the troops" -- how about the troops supporting all of us Americans who are against this illegal and immoral goddamned war of choice? Where are more Lt. Watadas? Huh?

Our military take an oath to protect and defend America's laws -- not to invade, fight, and occupy a sovereign nation for political or economic reasons. They did not take an oath to protect the misguided, illegal policies of George W. Bush.

The path of conscience is not easy. I'm not so naive to think it'd be easy for members of the military to take a moral -- and LEGAL -- stand against an aggressive, pre-emptive war. But, I'm beginning to wonder if, because we have an ALL-VOLUNTEER military, we have a military that gets its kicks out of war.

The military and civilians have a responsibiity, by the Nuremberg principles and the Geneva and Hague conventions, to stop their government from committing illegal acts of war, indeed, other illegal acts, too.

So, I would like to see patriotic men and women in uniform take up the challenge to stand up to the POTUS and his illegal war and do what ordinary working men and women did years ago to bring freedoms to benefit ALL Americans.

micki said...

He said that?

Ole Pitchfork Pat never fails to amaze. hahaha

micki said...

There once was a maniac known as Pat,
A gasbag regular, a right wing rat.
He read the sludge,
By his pal Drugde,
Birds of a feather were he and Matt.

micki said...

oops. Drudge

Gerald said...

Micki, the best way to support the troops is to not support the troops. We want them home and that is the best way to support the troops. Our troops need to be away from harm's way.

Gerald said...

Hypocrite Pat is a good example of a Nazi.

Gerald said...

The Nazi Party and garbage are synonymous.

•¿•arol said...

Carey, I saw The McLaughlin Report, too. I hate when Eleanor isn't on.

Micki, why wouldn't your "I'm so sick of hearing "support the troops" post make you not too popular? I agreed with that post wholeheartedly. I can take it a step further, I'm for a draft. That might help prevent the evil ones at the top starting wars.

I almost choked on my coffee this morning when I read Bush used our fuel to fly into Iraq again. I hate that SOB, too. SOOOOO much.

I can't remember if I ever asked you this before, but did you ever meet that piece of shit when you lived in Texas?

David B. Benson said...

Guess I'll stop laboring on Labor Day...

micki said...

Yes, I met that piece of shit when I was living in Texas. And believe me, I wasn't one of the ones who thought he had "charm" and charisma.

I could feel the bad vibes emanating from that guy just being in the same room with him.

micki said...

I didn't have a conversation with him -- just met the bastard. Business thing.

micki said...

Carol -- because we're supposed to "support the troops" blah blah blah. It's not considered patriotic and "kind" to question ANYTHING about the troops. Bullshit. Some of them are scumbags, too.

I'm 100% in favor of a draft at this point in time.

But, I'm also 100% in favor of dismantling a standing military.

Hajji said...

I still carry my lifetime cards for both the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET).

The shop stewards in both organizations (there was a lot of crossover) were insistant on proper education and training for all their members so that quality employment meant equal gains for theater shows and television.

Protection of fair wage scales, safety of employees and proper channels of greivance without animosity (usually) were hallmarks of working in "union" shops.

My father was an ironworker. His local once went out on strike over insurance benefits, wage increases and safety concerns. Over the Christmas they were out, union reps took food, clothing, toys and other gifts to families hurt most by the strike. (we were only one of hundreds)

HIS Father was instrumental in organizing the mine workers of Lynch, KY (see "Bloody" Harlan County) at a time when US Steel was calling in Federal Troops to quell labor uprisings.

Here in South Carolina, I have not met a single person who spoke of union membership...

"Labor" in these parts is now what "illegal Mexicans" do.

-T

ยบ¿carol said...

"I could feel the bad vibes emanating from that guy just being in the same room with him."

I think he has shiftyness written on his face. He has evil eyes and that smirk.

There's a picture of him in Newsweek I can't quit looking at. (I'll have to see if I can get it on-line) Some peasant has his arm across his shoulder and against his neck. I bet he LOVED that.


As for dismantling our standing army, I'd have to think about that one.

micki said...

As for dismantling our standing army, I'd have to think about that one.

I was being a bit hyperbolic...but, in a better world, that would be a worthy and sane goal.

micki said...

Here in South Carolina, I have not met a single person who spoke of union membership...

Is SC a "right to work" state like Texas?

What incongruous words!

micki said...

Oh, I should say...incongruous in Texas. I don't know about other states.

Hajji said...

South Carolina is indeed, a "right to get canned for no reason, whatsoever" state, like Texas.

I've seen nurses suspended for merely being on the clock when someone else was pilfering drugs. (without ANYBODY knowing) Then not being reinstated (although they'll usually get their record expunged with the SC nurses association, after a few months' of legal wrangling) after the cases were solved.

It creates a real, bonafide "Suck up to the bosses or ELSE!" environment. Somehow, even with my mouth always saying things as I think them, they've still come up with no reason (real or manufactured) to get rid of me.

I'm thinkin' maybe they know they can't replace me for the pittance they attatch to my bennies some might call "salary".

-T