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View Diary: July 7, 1903: "March of the Mill Children" (110 comments)

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  •  Thanks for the link (3+ / 0-)
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    jimstaro, webranding, imabluemerkin

    I only read the first page (at work), but I think I can already answer your question about why there are no new Mothers Jones. The level of suffering that she and her compatriots lived through is no longer alive in our memories (though if you lived in the 9th Ward of New Orleans you might disagree and with good reason).

    I hope I'm wrong, but I think a steady diet of TV and cheap consumer goods have blinded us (the middle class folks with the time and wherewithal to post on DKos) to the impact of our neighbors' suffering. It would likely take a major meltdown to cause a general strike or mass demonstrations.

    •  I Hate To Say I Have To Agree (3+ / 0-)
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      cotterperson, jimstaro, Doodlespook

      I am attempting to think how to write this up, but I just got back from a six day vacation with a old college friend. A guy I had not seen in 18 years. He brought along a friend of his I had never met, a 20+ year UAW worker. Somebody that actually makes things with their hands. I have to admit, I don't know a lot of those people. Talking to him and asking questions was just stunning.

      I learned a lot of things talking to him, the first of which is he works at a union plant and for a Japanese  firm. I have to admit I wasn't aware there were any of those around. So I guess a plant can be union and still turn a profit!

      "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

      by webranding on Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 07:40:28 AM PDT

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      •  My Dad was also UAW (2+ / 0-)
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        jimstaro, webranding

        before he retired. Shop steward for awhile.  Unfortunately, he has since drunk deeply of the Christian Right Kool-Aid and no longer supports the Union.  Lots of reasons for this - not the least of which is the years of give-backs by the union which left his retirement far from secure.  

        •  I Have No Reason To Second Guess This Guy (2+ / 0-)
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          jimstaro, Doodlespook

          but I asked a lot of questions about his job (and the union in general) and he was very clear he is under contract. Push comes to shove and they lay him off (second shift was already laid off), they have to pay him what is left on the contract, which would be three years at this point. That seems like a pretty good deal to me.

          "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

          by webranding on Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 08:13:40 AM PDT

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          •  I have to admit (1+ / 0-)
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            jimstaro

            I don't know much about UAW policies anymore - Dad's been retired for 10 years or so.  I do know that the UAW paid for my braces and glasses as a kid and made it possible for my dad to support a family on a factory-worker's wages. I still support them, even if he doesn't.  

            •  My 93 Year Old Grandfather Was Union (2+ / 0-)
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              jimstaro, Doodlespook

              at a Snap-on plant. He put four kids, including my mom threw college. And my father, a 30 year military vet, likes to joke he wishes he had the health care my grandfather has. Now he worked his butt off, 40+ years, but his union took care of him.

              "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

              by webranding on Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 08:22:25 AM PDT

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        •  My father was a union member -- IBEW (2+ / 0-)
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          jimstaro, Doodlespook

          I remember going out on the picket lines with him once when I was in grade school. He dressed me up in my PJs, put me in the back of the station wagon and took me along with him to picket the Hanford plant in eastern Washington. I don't remember much about what went on. Certainly nothing exciting happened like goons trying to drive truckloads of scabs through the gates. (I don't think I would have been there if he thought there'd be any danger.)

          Now I work in IT and we don't have unions, which is definitely a mixed "blessing." I'm employed and making decent money with good benefits at a time when many aren't, but if I get fired because the boss doesn't like the T-shirt I'm wearing today there's no recourse.

          I for one welcome our new Twitter overlords. @Omir55

          by Omir the Storyteller on Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 09:34:11 AM PDT

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