January 11, 2012

How quickly we've forgotten

The following was published in the October 22, 1958 edition of the International Woodworker:

The following item is for the attention of those who claim that organized labor is wrong when it says that so-called “right to work” laws are aimed at weakening unions and destroying labor standards.

It concerns a letter from a housewife to the editor of the Indianapolis Star in the “right-to-work” state of Indiana. The letter was written by Mrs. Patricia Bolen of Nashville, Ind., wife of a carpenter. Mrs. Bolen wrote:

“I pooh-poohed when the right-to-work was first called a mankiiller. But it is. The man I love is being killed by it. He is a carpenter, strong, capable, hard-working, able to do three men’s work, which he does. Thereby, he keeps his job, luckier than most carpenters these days.

“He retains his job by doing man-killing work, but the rest of the crew is fired each Friday. A fresh group is brought in on Monday. There is no longer a union steward whose job it used to be to see that the company provided fresh drinking water, toilet facilities, a place to change and keep dry clothes, safety precautions, etc.

“My man comes home each day thirsty, soaking wet and heartsick because eager, hard-working family men on the job are being laid off when they can’t double or triple their output. This is not an isolated case.

“I am a school teacher. I address this to other teachers, office workers, business people, and others who know first hand what the “Handley law” really is–a right-to-work-a-man-to-death law. I plead for its repeal.”

By Handley, Mrs. Bolen referred to Republican Governor Harold Handley, who, after telling labor leaders he would veto a so-called “right-to-work” law if passed, flipflopped and let it become a law.

Today we have the same forces moving to put workers back into the same position. Politicians bought by big money are whittling away at the safety and the very dignity of the American worker... and we have an electorate blinded by religious, family values hocus pocus voting more of them in... never realizing that they are voting their own job security down the toilet.

How quickly we've forgotten.

H/T Erik Loomis


Old NFO said...

Maybe, but unions have NOT done themselves any favors by their actions either... I think a lot of hyperbole has been used on both sides of the argument, and there ARE organizations that have abused both union AND right to work situations... Is there a middle ground anymore? I don't think so due to the polarization of politics and the population.

Mule Breath said...

Sad to say, but you may be correct about finding compromise. Everyone is so angry that it likely will be difficult. But that was not the point of the article.

While it may be true that both sides have taken advantage of their time as king of the hill, and that both have used misinformation campaigns to achieve a goal, it remains painfully true that the damage that right to work is costing good jobs.

Texas is a good example. We are right to work and our current absentee governor spends copious oxygen bragging about job growth. The good paying jobs in this state are all but gone while minimum wage positions account for the bulk of Perry's bragging rights. People who have jobs at all are holding down two or three to even come close to the wages they could earn eight or ten years ago.

Unions sacrificed jobs to make a point. The plutocrats are sacrificing jobs AND this country's prestige to make a buck. I'll let you determine which of those two culprits is the more heinous.