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View Diary: Thirty years later, Reagan's Patco strikebreaking still shapes our economy (135 comments)

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  •  We need to teach more labor history (8+ / 0-)

    in the public schools (while we still have public schools!).

    Americans have been sold a false story of their past--one which makes them all believe they can be millionaires one day if only the come up with a good idea or work "really hard." What crap.

    We need to educate our kids on exactly how workers today have the benefits they have (while they still have those benefits!). We need to show them how courageous people fought for those rights, sometimes putting their own lives in jeopardy. Worker rights were not granted by magnanimous business types--they were forcefully extracted and we need to be of our duty to keep the fight going.

    Unions need to work together and support one another. Americans need to learn about the General Strike. In 1985 the teachers at the school where I was working went on strike. We formed a picket line around the main entrance of the school and down the block. When the UPS man came to make a delivery, I said, "Hey, Brother. Are you really going to cross a picket line?" He said, "No way," and went back to his truck with all the packages. That is Solidarity.

    We need to promote solidarity among working people. Without it we are sunk. Right now, I believe we are sunk. For now.

    I put it all on Reagan. Great diary!

    "Do your best, and keep your sense of humor."--My Mom

    by mainely49 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 02:31:14 PM PDT

    •  my old IWW stump speech . . . . . (6+ / 0-)

      that I used to give to everyone back in the 80's and 90's who wanted to hear a pet radical.  It's still just as relevant today as it was 25 years ago:

      ahem

      "Fellow workers:
      When I was in school, I was never taught anything about labor history.  All I was taught was that some kindly old men in Congress decided to pass a law one day to make things better for workers.  It wasn't until I got out of school that I learned that the labor movement has a history -- and it's a history of struggle and warfare.

      We need to keep in mind a few fundamental things.  The business interests aren't in business to give us jobs.  They're not there to make money for us.  The business interests have never given us a goddamn thing -- everything we have, we have because we organized for it, we fought for it, and very many times, we died for it.  And if we forget that -- if we forget who we are and where we have come from, then everything we have will be gone.

      We are not humans to them.  We are equipment.  We are no different than a computer terminal or a tow-motor or a pallette jack.  We are just something else that they have to pay for if they want to make money.  Just another thing that they buy as cheaply as they can, use until it wears out or breaks down, then throw away and buy a new one.  And when they buy a new one, they don't care what color it is or what language it speaks or what country it comes from.  All they care is "Can it make me money better than that one over there?"

      We need to keep in mind the words that my fellow Wobbles spoke almost 100 years ago; "The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.  Between these two classes, a struggle must go on, until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, and abolish the wage system."

      Thank you very much.  One big union, one general strike, and Solidarity Forever!"

      •  One big union. One general strike. (0+ / 0-)

        Solidarity Forever.

        Is there another way?

        We need to use the rhetoric of our predecessors. It is good language and it forms the debate.

        In Solidarity, Brothers and Sisters.

        "Do your best, and keep your sense of humor."--My Mom

        by mainely49 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 07:14:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We absolutely need to teach more labor history (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JG in MD, mainely49

      I can't believe how ignorant most people are about the incredible struggle Labor has had just to get decent wages and working conditions.   Wingnut dominated states like my home state of Florida will VIGOROUSLY OPPOSE teaching more about the labor movement, but we have to keep pushing and trying.

      •  As a teacher, I can say that there (0+ / 0-)

        are ways to sneak a little labor history into the curriculum now and then...it's appalling that it needs to be done this way, but there are many teachers who are committed to presenting the facts to their students.

        In Solidarity.

        "Do your best, and keep your sense of humor."--My Mom

        by mainely49 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 07:16:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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