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Tag Archives: unions

Rumin8ing with a Bay View (History Rhymes Pt. 3)

Rumin8ing with a Bay View (History Rhymes Pt. 3)

Today marks the 125th anniversary of the Bay View Massacre, wherein five day laborers, a 13-yr-old schoolboy, and a retired mill worker were mercilessly shot at and killed by the Wisconsin state militia for striking in protest for an 8 hour day.  (Remember the 8-hr day and the 40-hr week?  Remember not working overtime without being paid time and a half, or not having to come in the office Saturdays, or not checking your BlackBerry or smart phone?  Remember Dolly Parton singing about “9 to 5”?  This is all hard to believe now, I know, since it sets apart with seamless anachronism our current system, thanks to the present relationship between capital and labor never being a more perfect model of parody — I mean parity.  Alas, it’s true: once upon a time the job creators were interested in nothing more than making a profit for themselves and their shareholders that never did trickle down to the actual workers who made everything profitable.  Thank the two Almighty’s — God and the dollar — that today we’re flush with companies and corporations alike who practically compete over who’s more patriotic and supportive of working families!

It was not ever thus, however.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Sticky Situation, or ¿Como se dice “m’aidez!”?

Sticky Situation, or ¿Como se dice “m’aidez!”?

If you were to combine the verve of April Fools Day and May Day, it might look a little like this.  Depending on your political persuasion, you might let out a peal of laughter, shout out a “hells yeah!” howl, roll your eyes with a wistful gesture and wonder about those Madison radicals, or condemn and call to arms against the thuggish skullduggery of them union goons and commie socialists. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Don’t Mess With Taxes

No, that’s not a dyslexic typo.  But as for lapses of logic, spelling gaffes, general bouts of stupidity, and Palin-esque aposiopeses, please read on…

The tea party (TP) “spatriots” came to town today — on yellow school buses no less — and were met overwhelmingly by a counter-protest pro-union contingent which effectively drowned out their “drown it in a bathtub” Grover Norquist message.  But rather than tell, I’ll show:

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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One Hundred Years of Solidarity (History Rhymes Pt. 1)

One Hundred Years of Solidarity (History Rhymes Pt. 1)

In Memorium

As you may know, today marks the 100th anniversary of the greatest (known) workplace tragedy in the history of the country, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.  Here’s some basic info together with harrowing photos from the event:

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/standard/display/slideshow.php?ftr_id=90227&slide=9

What’s important to remember, and all too sadly a propos, this tragedy galvanized the Labor movement in America and brought attention to workers’ rights (not the nefarious “right to work”).  As Mark Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” If the chant “An injury to one is an injury to all” be true, then so too can it be said that what happened then is what’s happening now; we’re just actors reenacting this same old play on stage.  Let’s try to ensure that it’s not a tragedy!

Postscript:

Said Senator Chuck Schumer-D of New York, “And to the families of the victims, we will not let right-wing ideologues and Scott Walker Republicans undo your loved ones’ legacy.”  So now Scott Walker has become part of the national lexicon, albeit dubiously.  And now we know how long it takes to go from a statewide shame to a national embarrassment: a New York minute.

 

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