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Growing up, there were few things more important to Dad than solidarity with his union brothers and sisters. If there was a strike on, we participated. Didn't matter who; didn't matter where. Migrant farmers, teachers, nurses, teamsters. The union is a brotherhood. A family. It was unity. And it mattered. A lot.

The union was Dad's religion. He believed in it's power and it's purpose. He understood that without them, the poor had no chance. No hope. No future. He would be absolutely livid at what's happening in this country. Honestly, I'm surprised he hasn't come up out of the grave and started knocking some heads together. He was that committed to the cause.

I'm disgusted at how much hate and vitriol has been thrown on unions and unionized employees starting with the two favorite targets: lazy municipal workers and lazy teachers. Do they exist. Yes. Are they the majority. Not even close. Unions are comprised of people. All kinds of people. Some of them lazy. Most, however, are hard working, conscientious people trying to make a living.

The Verizon strike isn't about health care or sick time or how many vacation days an employee gets. This is the final battle in the war against the middle class. A war on us. Our families. Our way of life. Our future.

If Verizon breaks their union, how long before your employer decides that you get too many holidays? How long until your employer decides that they won't contribute a dime to your health insurance? How long until your employer decides that you can do the work of two people?

We, the workers built this country and it's greatest companies. Without us, they have nothing. There's no industry. There's no wealth. There's nothing.

Unions set the standard.

Unions matter.

Unions built the middle class and made it strong. Right now, the unions need the middle class to return the favor.

Cross posted at: Did I Say That Out Loud?

Originally posted to Barbie02360 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 06:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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