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As the Tea Party Nation, with their Tea Party Leaders, like Walker, like Ryan, like Cantor, continue blame Unions for all that's wrong in America;

as they continue to pit worker against worker, only to Divide and Conquer all workers;

as they continue to take credit for the sun-rising, and blame others for their own free-market self-regulating hangovers.

As Tea Party Leaders continue to crow, and sneer, and lie like the proverbial rug

-- do yourself a favor, take the time to ask one simple question ...

That question:

How would life be different now if union workers, never stood up and demanded better?

1)  Weekends without work
2)  All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
3)  Paid vacation
4)  Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
5)  Sick leave
6)  Social Security
7)  Minimum wage
8)  Civil Rights Act/Title VII - prohibits employer discrimination
9)  8-hour work day
10)  Overtime pay
11)  Child labor laws
12)  Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
13)  40-hour work week
14)  Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)
15)  Unemployment insurance
16)  Pensions
17)  Workplace safety standards and regulations
18)  Employer health care insurance
19)  Collective bargaining rights for employees
20)  Wrongful termination laws

[... 16 more union-gained rights for workers ...]

36 reasons why you should thank a union
Union Plus, established by the AFL-CIO

Workers matters -- ALL workers.  

Mill workers and Office workers;

Public sector and Private;

Laid-off workers and their over-worked replacements.

We matter.    And We Deserve Better  ... from those who would dare to "Lead" us.

We deserve credit -- not Blame.

WE are America.

The heart and soul;  the blood and sweat;   we are the very engine that makes it all go.

Thank a union member, next time you get the chance

-- for fighting to gain us, those meager, fragile, workplace rights we now enjoy, in exchange for all our endless hours of Labor.

Because if it were up to the Tea Party Nation -- all those gains, would be downsized, outsourced, and erased, just as fast as they could pass steamroll the legislation.

Let Wisconsin serve as a reminder of just how far those Tea Party Leaders will go -- with a little help from their friends  a LOT of help from their Millionaire-backers.

And the clueless devotion of far-too-many of America's hard-working, bone-tired people.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Union’s reputations need to be restored. (23+ / 0-)

    The demonization of regular people has gone unanswered far too long. Union Bosses or thugs are equated with CEO’s, instead of pointing out that it is a union of your neighbors and fellow citizens. Unfortunately even some union members perpetuate this idea. Instead of talking about the rising tide lifting all of our (middle class) boats, they’d rather everyone else sank with them. Nice list, let’s post it often.

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:00:26 PM PDT

    •  people have forgotten (24+ / 0-)

      so much of Labor history ...

      or perhaps they never even learned it,

      as school texts continue to be edited, slanted, re-written

      to suit the intentions of a corporate-conservative 19th century agenda.

      thx 4mygirls for the thoughtful comments.

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:09:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i remember the old "union lable" ads (13+ / 0-)

        sadly, they didn't make american's "buy american" clothing, as the ads intended, (except my dad, who made it a personal mission) but i think they did make people feel warmer and fuzzier about unions in general...

        i would love to see an ad that hit the points of this post...and it would be great if you could sing along to it...running that, outside of any political agenda, would do a lot, i think..i don't know how we got here, how teachers and firefighters and the post office became THE ENEMY, but it seems little is being done to combat that image.

        Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson

        by marzook on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:47:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I grew up in Union household (18+ / 0-)

          it was a source of pride,

          a source of dedication,

          a source of strength.

          I pains me to see what conservatives have done to that Union label.

          How they have painted it as the symbol of greed and corruption.

          When exactly the opposite is the case.

          -- Corporate-task masters -- meet mirror.

          thx marzook

          What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
          -- Maslow ...... my list.

          by jamess on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 08:05:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Me too, jamess. (8+ / 0-)

            I've been proud of my Dad, who was a union worker (a guv'ment union worker, yet!  NALC, yay!).  I was a union member in the CWA and took part in a strike in the 60's--was on shift as a long-distance telephone operator when the call came to walk out and still remember how it felt to take the headset off and walk out of that building with my "sisters" onto the street.

            If I hadn't become a pastor in midlife, I'd have wanted to work for the unions.   And I still think about doing it when and if I ever retire.

            "Because inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened." -Terry Pratchett

            by revsue on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 08:55:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  here is what most Americans don't understand... (8+ / 0-)

            GRAPH: As Union Membership Has Declined, Income Inequality Has Skyrocketed In The United States

            Across the country, right-wing legislators continue their attack on labor unions, claiming that they are saving their states money. Yet in waging these anti-labor campaigns, these politicians are ignoring one very simple fact: unions were a major force in building and sustaining the great American middle class, and as they declined, so has the middle class. As CAP’s Karla Waters and David Madland showed in a report they first published this past January, as union membership has steadily declined since 1967, so too has the middle class’s share of national income, as the super-rich have taken a larger share of national income than any time since the 1920s:


            •  thanks Flint (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Creosote, elwior

              interesting chart.

              I just learn something new.

              What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
              -- Maslow ...... my list.

              by jamess on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 10:19:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I learn something new every time you post (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                offgrid, RJDixon74135, jamess, Smoh

                I'm just glad that I can contribute to your efforts.

                This graph is particularly good at getting across the value of Unions at a glance. One picture is worth a thousand words as they say... and even the slowest idiot can see the relationship between unions membership and middle class family income

                •  The chart makes a statement certainly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  but it's a little humorous too, because of how the designer of it contrives the scales to get the lines to match up.  One can take many examples of two declining trends and get them to line up very closely if one is willing to play around with the scales.

                  Does the graph tell us that if middle class share of income goes down 4 more percentage points, there will be no union members?  It implies that.

                  But I take the point.  We're an active union household here and glad to be in the battle.

                  I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                  by Satya1 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 05:46:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    for supporting unions Satya1

                    PS.  sometimes it's appropriate to  "mix scales"

                    particularly when both data series have been "normalized"

                    on a percentage or standard deviation basis.

                    Truncating of scales, for the convenience of the viewer, is OK too, long as the numbers are clearly displayed.

                    Doing this makes possible correlations in data trends clearer. Of course without the "correlation scores", caution should always be used, before assuming a proven linkage.

                    Possible linkage worthy of more research, is usually warranted though.

                    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
                    -- Maslow ...... my list.

                    by jamess on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 06:16:13 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Here is another data dump by one of the authors... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Satya1, Smoh, jamess
                      As Unions Weaken So Does the Middle Class
                      New Census Data Shows the Importance of Unions to the Middle Class

                      New state income data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows the importance of unions to boosting incomes for all middle-class households—union and nonunion alike. The 2010 income data makes it clear that strong unions are a critical factor in creating a middle-class society. Restoring the strength of unions would go a long way toward rebuilding the middle class.

                      The states with the lowest percentage of workers in unions—North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas—all have relatively weak middle classes. In each of these states, the share of income going to the middle class (the middle 60 percent of the population by income) is below the national average, according to Census Bureau figures.

                      Mapping the Census data that has been released this fall to previous years also shows that over time the strength of the middle class and the strength of the union movement have tracked closely together. In 1968, the share of income going to the nation’s middle class was 53.2 percent, when 28 percent of all workers were members of unions. Since then, union membership steadily declined alongside the share of income going to the middle class. By 2010, the middle class only received 46.5 percent of income as union membership dropped to less than 12 percent of workers.

                      As unions weakened, the lion’s share of the economy’s gains have gone to the wealthy. The share of pretax income earned by the richest 1 percent of Americans more than doubled between 1974 and 2007, climbing to 23 percent from 9 percent. And for the richest of the rich—the top 0.1 percent—the gains have been even more astronomical. Their share of income quadrupled over this period, rising to 12.3 percent of all income from 2.7 percent.

                      •  correlative vs causal relationships (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Satya1, Smoh, jamess

                        The authors of the original chart I posted were careful to point out the difference between those two types of relationships in the text of the article and that is why I posted the link to it with the chart.

                        In this article they don't map the data by time but simple point out that those states with a high union membership have higher middle class incomes while those that have lower union membership have lower middle class incomes.

                        The data comes from the US Census and is state by state and is from the year 2010.

                      •  thanks for the info Flint (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        I'll dig into that later tonight.  Why does this list look so familiar:

                        The states with the lowest percentage of workers in unions—North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas—all have relatively weak middle classes.
                        One could also go to education statistics and other sociological measures to find other contributors to the weakness of middle class in these states.

                        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                        by Satya1 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:53:52 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The other stat worth looking at... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Satya1, jamess

                          I haven't researched it yet but it would also be interesting to look at those states employment records and look at the location/size of the military bases there.

                          I don't see any connection with the union question but it the Bush administration did extensive military base shutdowns in the blue states and relocation and expansion of bases in red states.

                          In short... dumping billions of dollars of federal dollars into the red states and creating federal jobs versus public sector jobs.

                          Just curious.

                    •  thanks for the diary (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I just have a quibble about the graph.  Sometimes it's appropriate to  "mix scales".  Absolutely.  I don't think it works well on this graph though.  I don't want to hijack the diary to go off on a tangent either.  This graph is going to work in the progressive blogoshere, but I'm on the lookout for more convincing data tools.

                      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                      by Satya1 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 08:42:49 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  How COULD they learn it when (8+ / 0-)

        the education system has been reduced to "teach to the test"?

        Just part of the plan.

        Dumbing down America is a key element to the 1%'s establishing complete control of the country.

        Kick apart the structures - Seth

        by ceebee7 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 09:13:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure "restored" is the right word, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      4mygirls. Some unions more than others, but all unions in general, have had image problems as long as I can remember, and I can remember when we got our news from the radio before we got our first television in 1951.  I was too young to actually understand, but I remember vividly the arguments my parents had over the breakfast table while listening to the radio news reports during the 1952 steel workers strike, especially my liberal mother's explanation which she supplied AFTER my conservative father left for work each day. It was a pretty dramatic time. President Truman nationalized the steel industry! People were concerned about coping with inflation and, thanks in large part to Sen. McCarthy, communist infiltration of our government as Truman tried to balance wage and price controls. And, if charges of "communism" weren't enough to trouble the union image, how 'bout that Jimmy Hoffa?

      Now, I'm a strong supporter of both unions and workers' rights, but aside from the brief months of that amazingly effective "Look for the Union Label" campaign, I don't remember any time the unions have had a universally good reputation.  I do think one could be built, but it won't be easy. And, while I'm always inclined to believe that education is the solution to just about every problem, the union movement has often flourished among the undereducated and underpaid. I think that, for obvious reasons, this will remain the case.

      So, I'm primarily concerned with the need to preserve the sanctity of collective bargaining. Politicians like Scott Walker must not be allowed to renege on wage and benefit committments that may seem to stand alone but are actually just parts of larger agreements with committments on both sides.

      Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

      by RJDixon74135 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 06:56:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and here is a sample of (12+ / 0-)

    what workers banded together to fight against:

    "great depression" images

    "child labor" images

    in other words they were fighting for basic human dignity.  

    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:03:35 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, jamess. They don't really have any (9+ / 0-)

    objection at all to unions, per se. They want to destroy unions because unions are the major big money donors to the Democratic Party. That's the whole story.

    Karl Rove said he would capture the government for the Repugs for 40-50 years. Obama broke shattered that dream in the short term. So, he is using the Tea Party and Koch/ALEC, etc. as tools to destroy the power of the Democratic party so that Republicans can "rule" forever and ever.

    Another bit of spot on writing from jamess:

    And the clueless devotion of far-too-many of America's hard-working, bone-tired people.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:27:19 PM PDT

    •  thanks rubyr (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mike101, wasatch, ceebee7, Sunspots, kbman, elwior, Smoh

      some people are "low info" for some very good reasons,

      like working 2 jobs, like working odd hours, like trying to handle both work and school.

      True, deflating Union Money is a big part of it. An extra perk.

      But Walker and others Tea-leaders, paint public workers as the enemy.

      then they rollback their rights, their voice, their benefits.

      that can't all be about curtailing "member dues" -- which most of them are still paying,  just from much smaller paychecks.

      Assuming they still have jobs, that is.

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:35:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a lot of 'em- (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, Sunspots, rage, kbman, joy221, elwior
      America's hard-working, bone-tired people.
      And far-too-many of them are looking for a leader who'll tell them who's responsible for things not working out how they've been told things would work out.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:37:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  especially those (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini, mike101, kbman, elwior

        not internet savvy.

        So many of them will believe something,

        "just because they heard it on TV"

        -- even the Ads.

        I am always amazed how many people,

        still think there are some sort of "truth-in advertizing" and roving "fact-patrols,"  

        filtering everything said on the tube, for accuracy.

        like there "sort of" was, in some prior golden era.

        thank mike101, for the observations.

        What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
        -- Maslow ...... my list.

        by jamess on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:47:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Even Ronald Reagan (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess, DianeNYS, mike101

        patron saint of the GOP...was once a union leader.He ran the Screen Actors Guild.

        “Collective bargaining ... has played a major role in America's economic miracle. Unions represent some of the freest institutions in this land. There are few finer examples of participatory democracy to be found anywhere."----President Reagan
        He would not even recognize his own party today....
  •  Shared that link on Facebook - thanks! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, FishOutofWater, kbman, elwior

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:35:36 PM PDT

  •  It's not good for democracy that so many think (12+ / 0-)

    that standing up and demanding better is silly and embarrassing.  I was disturbed to see that so many Wisconsin voters thought the recall process was somehow inappropriate or not justified.  Democracy demands participation. And we should be able and willing to demand representation.  Even though Walker won the recall, the act of having to vote to keep him in office was itself good for democracy. The people of Wisconsin had to stand up and choose Walker, once again. I think they will regret their choice.
    It's sad that so many have forgotten how Unions have made our lives better, or recognize the dangers of oligarchy, and that their elected representatives are little better than the hired thugs of mob bosses.

    -4.38, -7.64 Voyager 1: proof that what goes up never comes down.

    by pat bunny on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:45:17 PM PDT

  •  Why is there no outrage at CEO labor contracts? (8+ / 0-)

    Since the CEOs run the companies, and control strategy and policy,   they should be considered "at will" employees.   No contracts and serve at the behest of shareholders.  They should be capable of being fired at any time for incompetence or bad results without receiving the benefit of golden parachutes.    

    Labor leaders need to improve public relations of unions and make the comparison between CEOS that hold all the cards and yet are being protected for failure by labor contracts.     Yet the politicians chastise rank and file for their labor contracts at will, and the contracts serve as basically token gestures.

    The basic problem that needs changed with unions has been image.   Labor union management needs to improve image of unions and especially of leadership.    Leadership needs to be seen more as serving the workers rather than perpetuating the false illusion of what the public sees as them being thugs.    More importantly they need to make the image of CEOs as incompetent, overpaid,  multi-national,  traitorous and disloyal to the USA globalist managers, and not entrepreneurs worthy of big bucks.

    Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

    by dailykozzer on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 07:48:13 PM PDT

  •  I was briefly a member of a teachers' union (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Sunspots, kbman, Sychotic1, elwior

    We went on strike for better conditions.

    I was also a member of NTEU, but I was less than satisfied with NTEU's support of my disabilities issues.

    Unions aren't perfect, but don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We need unions.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 08:11:05 PM PDT

  •  I spent 14 years in the Navy. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, drmah, offgrid, blueoregon, elwior, DianeNYS

    During one deployment to the ME, I got in a discussion with a couple of co-workers about the 2008 election.  They were both avid Republicans and were busy cursing out the unions as destroying America.

    I pointed out to them that we would not be receiving anywhere near the pay we were getting if it wasn't for the unions and their forcing the raising of wages for civilian workers.  Our pay is tied, somewhat, to what a civilian would be paid for a similar job in the civilian work force.

    They paused for a minute, thought about it, finally agreed and then went immediately into "well yes, but they've been really pushy lately".

    There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

    You give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders. -- Jesse Ventura

    by rage on Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 10:22:02 PM PDT

  •  Capricious salary scales were the name of the game (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rage, Sychotic1, elwior, jamess, DianeNYS

    when I began teaching under the old trustee system.  Each teacher negioated their own pay and amount mostly related to how well the Trustee liked you or what politial family you came from.  Merit pay for teachers is the same-old-same-old game.  Under the trustee system, the janitor who was the old uncie of trustee and trustee's sister-in-law were the top two on pay scale.  I was able to get my first teaching job by agreeing to teach summer school with no salary.  Without unions the same-old-same-old schemes will still part of the teacher's salary game.

  •  Reminds me of my favorite bumper sticker (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, jamess, DianeNYS

    that I see on my near neighbor's car.

    WEEKENDS - brought to you by your local UNION.

    Exactly...great post!

    "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." - Leonard Bernstein

    by outragedinSF on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:10:12 AM PDT

  •  Thank you on behalf of my Mother, the Polka Queen. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, DianeNYS

    For years she was an officer for her local chapter of the IBEW. She sat for the Labor Board in Washington. She is Rosie the Riveter. I am so proud of her.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 04:39:43 AM PDT

  •  Right on jamess. My dad, now retired, belongs to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a union.  He gets a nice pension thanks to his union membership.  He served in the military (Korea), worked hard, raised a family, buried his wife of over 55years not long ago and deserves some comfort and peace.

    It's truly disgusting that people can be so ignorant, willfully or not about how just a few generations ago people fought and died so we can enjoy what we have and most, take for granted now.

    We need unions!  The unions need to be saved, protected, fought for.

    Is anybody listenin' ? - by Tori del Allen

    by Dumas EagerSeton on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 03:40:53 PM PDT

  •  Two thoughts (0+ / 0-)

    The first is a quote from a friend's dad who runs his own non-union shop. "Any place with a union did something to deserve it." He's treated his workers better than other similar companies around, and has a pretty decent workforce because of it.

    Is it perfect? Nope. But even if he doesn't want one in his business, he still 'gets it'. Treat people bad, and it will hurt you.

    The first is that being anti-union is not fixed.  

    My dad worked in a non-union shop for years and years. The company was not bad to work for years and years ago, but as time went on it got worse for the line workers, and better for those at the top.

    He, my dad, grumbled about unions and how bad they were all through the Reagan years, but by time Bush I had ended, his views were shifting. Heck, today he's now voting Blue.  I never thought I'd see that in my lifetime. (It might have something to do with Kasich and his attacks on the teachers, since my Sis is one too.)

    The company fought off two unionization attempts with tactics that I'm not sure were legal. More than a few workers were fired for 'performance issues' that happened to coincide with their support for the unionization.

    He still wishes they would have prevailed.

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