Troyens

Troyens

Monday, September 02, 2013

Labor Day, 2013

Organized labor has done a lot for working people. If you have any of the following - and you do, if you work in the US - you owe it to organized labor:
  • Minimum wage
  • 40-hour work week
  • Occupational health & safety regulations
  • Child labor laws
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Passage of the Social Security Act
  • Passage of the National Labor Relations Act
  • Collective bargaining rights
  • Pensions
  • Passage of many civil rights laws
This is a particularly sad time to be thinking about organized labor. In Minnesota, the strong musicians' union hasn't been able to prevent or settle the eleven-month lockout. The minimum wage has completely failed to keep pace with inflation; lower-paid workers are consequently less well paid than they were 40 or 50 years ago. (Here's a NY Times story on what it's like trying to live on the minimum wage.) Fast-food and Walmart's workers often find themselves needing food stamps because the pay is so low (Walmart and MacDonald's are hugely profitable, but don't share the wealth with their workers.) Paul Krugman has a few things to say today; read it and weep.

1 comment:

Vajra said...

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
alive as you and me.
Says I "But Joe, you're ten years dead"
"I never died" said he,
"I never died" said he.

"The Copper Bosses killed you Joe,
they shot you Joe" they filled you full of lead.
"Takes more than guns to kill a man"
Says Joe "I didn't die"
Says Joe "I didn't die"

"In Salt Lake City, Joe," says I,
Him standing by my bed,
"They framed you on a murder charge,"
Says Joe, "But I ain't dead,"
Says Joe, "But I ain't dead."

And standing there as big as life
and smiling with his eyes.
Says Joe "What they can never kill
went on to organize,
went on to organize"

From San Diego up to Maine,
in every mine and mill,
Where working men defend their rights,
it's there you'll find Joe Hill,
it's there you'll find Joe Hill!

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
alive as you and me.
Says I "But Joe, you're ten years dead"
"I never died" said he,
"I never died" said he.