Friday, June 10, 2011

Which side are you on?

"It is one of the characteristics of a free and democratic nation that it have free and independent labor unions." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

"The important role of union organizations must be admitted: their object is the representation of the various categories of workers, their lawful collaboration in the economic advance of society, and the development of the sense of their responsibility for the realization of the common good." - Pope Paul VI

"Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The only thing workers have to bargain with is their skill or their labor. Denied the right to withhold it as a last resort, they become powerless. The strike is therefore not a breakdown of collective bargaining-it is the indispensable cornerstone of that process." - Paul Clark

"History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Every advance in this half-century: Social Security, civil rights, Medicare, aid to education... one after another- came with the support and leadership of American Labor." - Jimmy Carter

"The history of America has been largely created by the deeds of its working people and their organizations--there is scarcely an issue that is not influenced by labor’s organized efforts or lack of them." - William Cahn, Labor historian

"Never forget, people DIED for the eight hour workday." - Rebecca Gordon

"Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts." - Molly Ivins

"I want you to pledge to yourselves in this convention to stand as one solid army against the foes of human labor. Think of the thousands who are killed every year and there is no redress for it. We will fight until the mines are made secure and human life valued more than props. Look things in the face. Don't' fear a governor; don't fear anybody. You pay the governor; he has the right to protect you. You are the biggest part of the population in the state. You create its wealth, so I say, "let the fight go on; if nobody else will keep on, I will." - Mother Jones, 1913

"Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor." - John F. Kennedy

"If you object to unfair treatment, you're an ingrate. If you seek equity and fair consideration, you're uppity. If you demand union security, you're un-American. If you rebel against repressive management tactics, they will lynch and scalp you. But if you are passive and patient, they will take advantage of both." - Congressman William Clay, Sr.


Anonymous said...

We live in scary times. nancy

Stan Denski said...

Yes we do indeed. It reminds me of the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." The easiest way to remain cautiously optimistic is to realize how just plain boring the "everything sucks" crowd is. Being "happy" is, a decision we make, regardless of circumstance. We can chose to enjoy a sunny day and a nice breeze or chose to be miserable on a sunny day in a nice breeze. Besides, i have a friend who is a corporate big wig with a 7 figure salary and, to the average human being on Earth right now, he and I are indistinguishable from each other. I have a home with heat and AC, indoor plumbing, safe drinking water, a stocked fridge and pantry, "entertainment center" with CDs, DVDs, etc., cars that run. His house is bigger, cars are nicer and so on, but to some guy in China, India, Africa, you can't tell us apart, we're both on top of the food chain.

I knew another guy who had a 300 series Mercedes and was actually honestly unhappy because he wanted a 500 series Mercedes. He didn't enjoy his life - and it just seemed so stupid. One afternoon as I took a bite of a honeycrisp apple I thought... "How bad can it BE when shit like this is just hanging off of trees?" Be well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouraging words. I will remember them as I get the blues from reading too many political blogs. Loved the post about your dad. nancy again.

Stan Denski said...

I remember your dad, though I just met him briefly and just once.